The Supreme Court on Wednesday revived a plea challenging a Bombay high court order restricting the height of human pyramids to 20 feet for a Dahi-Handi ritual, saying it needs to hear the PIL petitioner before passing any order.
A bench of Justices A R Dave and L Nageswara Rao issued notice to the petitioner Swati Sayaji Patil, a social worker, who has filed a petition seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against the Maharashtra government in the high court for failure to comply with the HC order and sought her response by August 17.
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the state government, said there is an urgency in the matter as Janmasthmi festival is on August 25, and that the apex court should pass some interim order for this year.
The bench said that the appeal against the high court directions has been disposed of and asked if any order can be passed on a plea that has been disposed of.
"For passing any order, the SLP needs to be revived and all aspects need to be dealt with," the bench said.
Last week, the Maharashtra government had approached the apex court seeking clarification on its 2014 order by which it had stayed the high court decision banning participation of those below 18-years in a popular 'Dahi-Handi' ritual.
The high court had on August 11, 2014, while hearing a petition filed by Patil, ordered that the height of human pyramids should not exceed 20 feet and that children below the age of 18 years should not be allowed to participate in the Dahi Handi ritual.
The state government had then challenged the high court order in the Supreme Court which had initially suspended the HC order and later dismissed the petition challenging it.
The Maharashtra government had taken a stand that since the apex court had not expressed any opinion on the restriction imposed by the high court on the height of human pyramids, it was not bound by the earlier HC order.
The high court, however, had asked the state government to seek clarification from the Supreme Court on the aspect that its earlier order would be in force unless it had been set aside by the apex court.