Makar Sankranti: Guj HC nod for govt measures on flying kites

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Ahmedabad, Jan 8 (PTI) The Gujarat High Court on Friday refused to put a blanket ban on kite flying related to Uttarayan and Makar Sankranti festivities on January 14 and approved restrictions which the state government has proposed in view of the coronavirus outbreak.

Kite flying is a major activity during Uttarayan in Gujarat, which falls on January 14, with people gathering on terraces of buildings etc to take part.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JB Pardiwala gave their consent to restrictions imposed by the state government while flying kites on Makar Sankranti.

While hearing a bunch of petitions, some demanding a complete ban on the festival to stop the spread of the virus and others seeking relief, the HC said 'we are not anti-anyone and don't want to take away anyone's livelihood.' 'But, putting other's lives in jeopardy is also a consideration. There is a large responsibility on the public,' it said.

The measures proposed by the government include a ban on flying kites in open grounds or public areas, as well as no entry on terraces without masks, maintaining social distancing and putting hand sanitizers on the terraces.

Advocate General Kamal Trivedi, while reading out the proposed measures during the online hearing, informed the bench that the government would issue a notification in this regard after getting approval from the court.

While there will be a ban on loudspeakers or sound amplifier systems during the celebrations, only close family members will be allowed on terraces, and no person other than residents and owners of flats in housing societies will be allowed to assemble on its terraces, the government informed the court.

Making a small addition, the bench said the society chairman or secretary will be responsible if this condition is breached.

'No one is allowed to display any writing, slogan, pictures on kites that can affect the sentiments of society and disturb public tranquility' read the government response which was approved by the court.

Those found violating these instructions will be booked under relevant sections of the Disaster Management Act and Indian Penal Code, it added. PTI PJT PD BNM BNM