Lahore  - The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday sought reply from the government until January 29 in a petition filed against the ban on Basant festival.

Last month, the Punjab government had ordered the imposition of complete ban on the celebration of Basant festival.

During the proceedings, Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh remarked that Basant was a cultural festival so it should not be banned in the name of precautionary measures. A ban on the festival is not the solution, he further remarked.  The court stressed a need for banning the import and export of the thread that caused killing of people.

2005, the Supreme Court imposed a ban on the manufacture, business or flying of kites as a precautionary measure to prevent the loss of lives. In 2007, the ban on Basant was imposed by the apex court after the deaths of several people because of kite’s glass-coated strings.

Also this year, the Lahore High Court has been moved by a citizen seeking the court order to celebrate the festival. Last year in these days, an identical petition challenging Punjab Prohibition of Kite-Flying Ordinance 2001was filed in which the court had issued notices to the Punjab government, police chief and others.

The petitioner took the plea that ban on the kite-flying activity was an infringement of the citizens’ fundamental rights.

On the other side, the opponents believe that the Basant celebration results in the loss of lives and damage to the electricity transmission.

In 2019, the Punjab government had decided to lift the 12-year-old ban imposed on celebrating Basant festival in the province. But a lawyer moved the LHC against the government’s decision. Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh, who is hearing the fresh petition against ban on basant celebrations this time, had issued notices to respondents, and later decided the petition by not allowing the kite-flying celebration.

A government meeting discussed the issue and ordered the district administrations in Punjab to take stern action against violators of the kite flying ban the Punjab province. It was also decided that no one would be allowed to play with the lives of the people terming it a blood sports.