SUNDAY TIMES LAHORE:A bench of the high court directed all the respondents to come up with their respective replies to the petition by Dec 26.

Meanwhile, it turned down a plea to grant a stay order against the kite-flying festival until the petition is decided.

Earlier this week, the Punjab government decided to lift a ban on Basant festivity and announced that the festival will be held in February next year.

A citizen took the government to the LHC against its decision to lift the ban. He pleaded that any festivity at the expense of human lives should not be allowed.

He requested the court to strike down the government’s decision to hold the festival in the province.

Basant festival was banned across the province after throats of several motorcyclists and others were cut with kite flyers’ sharp glass and chemical coated strings.

In 2005, the Supreme Court had also banned the festival over deaths caused by the use of sharp and glass coated strings. Several petitions challenging the ban were dismissed by the court.