- SC allows Jagannath Rath Yatra at Puri after banning it earlier
- SC has put strict conditions for the Rath Yatra
On Monday, the Supreme Court of India allowed the Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra in Puri which is scheduled for the 23rd of June this year. However, the top court has put conditions on it and said that the temple committee, Central and the state governments must coordinate the event with necessary curbs to prevent the spread of the novel Coronavirus.
On the 18th of June, the Supreme Court passed the judgement that the Jagannath Rath Yatra in 2020 will not take place after it heard a petition. The top court said, “Lord Jagannath will not forgive us if we allowed the Rath Yatra”.
The Central Government submitted that the Rath Yatra, this year, should be allowed without the participation from the public owing to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, saying, the “tradition of centuries may not be stopped”.
The Odisha government came in support of the stand of the Centre.
The Supreme Court has left it at the hands of the temple management and the government of Odisha to make sure that if they do conduct the Rath Yatra no public participation should be allowed.
On the 18th of June, the top court put a stay on the annual Rath Yatra and related activities at the Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri due to the rising cases of COVID-19 patients in the country.
Chief Justice of India (CJI) S A Bobde said, “We consider it appropriate that in the interest of public health and safety of citizens to restrain the respondents from holding the Rath Yatra this year,”.
The Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra, annually attracts 10 lakh devotees from all over the globe in the coastal district in Odisha and this religious event goes on for 10 to 12 days.
A non-profit organization, Odisha Vikas Parishad, filed a petition in the Supreme Court of India saying the annual Rath Yatra and it should not be allowed this year given the COVID-19 outbreak.
Before passing the judgement, the Supreme Court said, “this is a serious matter” and added, “even if there are only 10,000 people (in the event), it is also a serious thing,”.
As of today, the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in India have reached 4,26,910 while the total number of death the deadly virus has caused have crossed 13,700. On 18th June, the date when SC banned the Rath Yatra, the total number of cases of COVID-19 in India were 3,67,963 and the death toll was 12, 272.