The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the annual Jagannath Rath Yatra scheduled for June 23 in Puri, Odisha.The Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra, which is considered one of India’s biggest chariot festivals was set to commence from June 23.
A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and A S Bopanna said that in the interest of public health and safety of citizens, this year’s Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra Puri in Odisha can’t be allowed.
The Lord Jagannath rath yatra & activities connected to it willn’t be allowed this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Supreme Court said today.
“The Lord Jagannath willn’t forgive us if we allowed the rath yatra,”
CJI SA Bobde said while hearing a petition seeking to defer the rath yatra in Odisha’s Puri which is scheduled to start on June 23.
“In interest of public health & safety of citizens, restrain the state from holding the Rath Yatra and associated activities. We direct that there shall be no Rath Yatra at puri & associated activities this year”, the CJI ordered.
An SC bench headed by Chief Justice of India, SA Bobde while hearing a plea seeking cancellation of the festival this year ruled, “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. We direct that no Rath Yatra will be held in temple areas of Odisha.”
The plea filed by NGO Odisha Vikas Praishad claimed that presently, the entire nation including Odisha is facing an unprecedented situation due to Covid-19, where the lives of the common people are at a huge risk.