A sport cannot be blamed if a person playing it dies, noted Justice Mian Saqib Nisar.
People die in traffic accidents but driving has not been banned, he said, adding that cricket would not be banned if someone were to die after being hit with the ball.
The court had taken suo motu notice in 2005 on Shehzad Ahmed Sheikh’s application. Sheikh, the father of a 28-year-old man whose vocal cords suffered irreparable damage after his throat was slit by kite strong, prayed the court to impose a “complete ban” on kite flying.
Earlier, Advocate Qamar Zaman Qureshi, counsel for the Kite Flying Association, appearing on Friday submitted that kite flying was regulated under the Punjab Prohibition of Kite Flying Ordinance 2001. Justice Tasadduq Hussain Jilani, the head of the bench, asked him who had stopped his clients from flying kites to which Qureshi replied that the activity had been banned in 2010 by the Lahore High Court. At this, Justice Jilani said that kite-flying should continue, but in accordance with the law. “What remains to be seen is whether the number of deaths [caused from kite flying] declines as a result of regulation,” he said.
An additional advocate general – who had been asked by the court to apprise it about the condition of the petitioner’s son and the steps taken by the Punjab government for his treatment – told the court that the man could be treated in Pakistan. “He is under treatment at Children’s Hospital and recovering,” said the AAG.
Hearing this, Justice Saqib Nisar remarked that he was pleased to know that the man could receive the required treatment in Pakistan. He then asked the AAG how much compensation had the family been paid by the government. The law officer said that the government had given Rs500,000 to the family. He said that according to Sheikh, he had spent Rs1.5 million on his son’s treatment. The AAG said that he would try his best to persuade the government to pay additional compensation to the family.
The court then disposed of the case for having borne fruit.