LAHORE: The provincial government on Tuesday informed the Lahore High Court that a special committee had been constituted to decide whether to allow celebration of Basant festival.

During the hearing of multiple petitions against the government’s plan to allow the kite flying, a law officer also told the court that no decision had been taken so far with respect to celebration of the Basant festival.

He said the committee formed by the government on the matter would submit its recommendation within two weeks.

Advocates Safdar Shaheen Pirzada, Sheraz Zaka and others 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 also challenged the Punjab Prohibition of Kite Flying Ordinance 2001 under which the government enjoyed discretionary powers to permit kite-flying activities.

They said the Supreme Court in its 2006 judgment had declared the kite-flying and celebration of basant festival a violation of the fundamental rights.

However, they said, the government introduced an amendment to the law, acquiring the power to allow kite-flying without defining any criteria.

The petitioners asked the court to restrain the government from allowing kite-flying or celebration of basant festival.

They further asked the court to declare null and void the section 4(1) and 4-B of the ordinance, which empowered the government to permit the kite-flying.

Justice Aminuddin Khan adjourned the hearing till Jan 24 for further arguments and also allowed the petitioners to implead the Kite Flying Association in the case.

Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2019