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  4. SC gives nod to Puri Rath Yatra under strict conditions, says no compromise on health issues

SC gives nod to Puri Rath Yatra under strict conditions, says no compromise on health issues

The Supreme Court on Monday gave nod to the holding of Lord Jagannath's famous Rath Yatra in Odisha's Puri. A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI), SA Bobde, said that Puri rath yatra will be held with coordination of Temple committee, State and central Govt without compromising with the health issue.

India TV News Desk Edited by: India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: June 22, 2020 22:12 IST
Supreme Court gives nod to lord jagannath rath yatra, says no compromise on health issue
Image Source : FILE PHOTO

Supreme Court gives nod to lord jagannath rath yatra, says no compromise on health issue 

The Supreme Court, on Monday, allowed the Lord Jagannath Yatra of Puri to be held with certain restrictions. The apex court said, "Puri rath yatra will be held with coordination of temple committee, state and central govt without compromising with a health issue."

The apex court, however, added that "the state can even stop the yatra or festivities if they feel it is going out of hand."

CJI S.A. Bobde had said the Supreme Court is only considering conducting the Yatra in Puri and not anywhere else in Odisha.

In its hearing, the Centre told the top court that annual Rath Yatra can be held without public participation keeping in view the COVID-19 pandemic.

Important points from Supreme Court's ruling:

  • All entry points into the city of Puri, i.e., airports, railways stations, bus stands etc. shall be closed during the period of Rath Yatra festival.
  • The State Government shall impose a curfew in the City of Puri on all the days and during all the time when Rath Yatra chariots are taken in procession. 
  • Each Ratha (Chariot) shall be pulled by not more than 500 persons. Each of those persons shall be tested for the Coronavirus. They shall be permitted to pull the chariot only if they have been found negative.
  • There shall be an interval of one hour between two chariots.
  • Those who is engaged in puling the chariot shall maintain social distancing.
  • The rituals and the Rath Yatra shall be freely covered by the visual media. The State Govt shall allow TV cameras to be installed at such places as may be found necessary by the TV crew.

At least a dozen applicants, including one by Janardhan Pattajoshi Mohapatra, who is the hereditary chief servitor of Lord Jagannatha of the Jagannatha Temple, had approached the apex court seeking modification of its June 18 order.

The apex court had on June 18 said that in the interest of public health and safety of citizens, this year's Rath Yatra, cannot be allowed and that "Lord Jagannath won't forgive us if we allow" it.  These applications, including the one filed by 'Jagannath Sanskruti Jana Jagarana Manch', had urged the court to allow the Rath Yatra.

The Puri Rath Yatra is attended by lakhs of people from across the world and is scheduled from June 23.

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