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Punjab govt’s decision to lift ban on Basant challenged in LHC

LAHORE: A petition was filed in the Lahore High Court (LHC) challenging the Punjab government’s decision to lift 12-year-old ban on Basant celebrations, ARY News reported.

On Dec 19, the Punjab government announced its decision to lift the ban imposed on celebrating Basant saying the festival — which marks the arrival of Spring season — will be celebrated in the second week of February 2019.

The plea was filed by a woman who challenged the section-4 of the Punjab Prohibition of Kite Flying Ordinance 2001, which has four sub-sections titled ‘registration, permission for kite flying and kite flying association.’

Punjab government allows celebrating Basant festival

She said the Supreme Court had already banned kite flying and “it is the violation of a fundamental right to allow kite flying”.

The petitioner said it was the responsibility of the state to ensure safety to lives of the citizens.

She requested the court to declare Punjab government’s decision allowing kite flying be declared void with immediate effect.

Information Minister Fayazul Hassan Chohan had announced lifting the ban on Basant on Dec 18.

Chohan said: “Basant is an economic activity and a source of promoting tourism, and added that its celebrations should remain within the prescribed rules and regulations keeping in view the public safety.”

Chohan said the Supreme Court in its order had clarified that there was no restriction on holding the Basant festival and that it should be celebrated while staying within the ambit of law, as well as the rules and regulations defined by the government.

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