LAHORE - The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday issued notices to Punjab Inspector General, the Punjab chief secretary, Lesco and other respondents in a case filed against lifting a ban on the celebration of Basant festival in the province.

At the outset of the hearing in a plea filed against Kite Flying Act, the court directed the parties to submit their written replies till January 15.

Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh sought replies from Punjab Minister for Information and Culture Fayyazul Hassan Chohan, chief secretary and IG Amjad Javed Saleemi.

During the hearing, the petitioner through Sheraz Zaka Advocate contended that it was unconstitutional to allow Basant festival following the Supreme Court’s ruling against it as the deadly festival had claimed many lives. He added that the police chief and the chief secretary had failed to take sufficient and essential steps to halt the deadly festival and it is commission of contempt of court orders. The counsel contended that kite flying activity is an infringement to the fundamental right. He said in 2009, the Punjab government made an amendment to the law to get authority to allow the kite flying activity without delineating a criteria hence the petition has been filed to enforce fundamental rights of citizens including right of life and right of protection of property.  Aiyza javaid field the petition to challenge the Punjab Prohibition of Kite Flying Ordinance 2001 under which the Punjab government has been conferred the discretionary powers to grant permission to allow kite flying activities.

On the other side, the Punjab government’s representative told the court that the final decision on celebration of Basant had not yet been. However, he added, only an opinion in this regard had been sought. It is to be mentioned here that the Punjab information minister had announced the government had decided to lift the Basant ban and that it will be held in the second of February next year.

The petitioner took the plea that deaths took place  despite  Kite Flying law therefore court should declare the powers for allowing  Kite flying as null and void under law. The court then sent the case to Justice Aminudeen Khan for further proceeding and remarked that Justice Aminudeen is hearing petitions pertaining to ‘Basant’ therefore he will hear that petition.