LAHORE - The Punjab government on Thursday undertook before the Lahore High Court that it would not allow any kite flying activity and the ban on the Basant celebration shall remain intact this year.

However, the Punjab govt asserted that kite flying would not be allowed until safety precautionary measures are implemented through legislation. 

After the government’s undertaking, Justice Shakeelur-Rehman Khan disposed of petitions filed by Advocates Safdar Shaheen Pirzada, Sheraz Zaka and others against the government earlier announced plan to celebrate Basant.

Earlier, a law officer representing the government appeared before the court and submitted a report. The court on the occasion observed that safety measures were necessary for the purpose. The court further observed that kite flying activity results in killing of innocent citizens hence there should be safeguard measures in order to clamp down upon the persons who blatantly violate the law. The judge disposed of the petitions in the light of the undertaking given by the government.

The petitioners had challenged the Punjab Prohibition of Kite Flying Ordinance 2001 under which the Punjab govt has been conferred the discretionary powers to grant permission to celebrate kite flying event. The petitioners’ counsels contended that kite flying activity is an infringement to the fundamental right.

The Supreme Court in its judgment has already declared kite flying activity and celebration of the festival a violation of fundamental rights, they said. Sheraz Zaka contended that in 2009 the Punjab govt made an amendment to the law to grant itself a permission to allow kite flying activity without delineating a criteria.

He said that celebration of kite flying festival not only results in loss of lives but also loss of electricity transmission.

The petitioners had filed the petitions in public interest, pleading that the kite flying was a deadly sport and could not be allowed at the cost of citizens’ fundamental rights.

The petitioners had asked the court to restrain the government from allowing kite-flying or celebration of Basant festival. They had further appealed the court to declare null and void the section 4(1) and 4-B of the Ordinance, which empowered the government to permit kite-flying.