SC refuses to intervene against Odisha order restricting Jagannath Rath Yatra to Puri

SC refuses to intervene against Odisha order restricting Jagannath Rath Yatra to Puri

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to intervene against an Odisha government order restricting the Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra to the temple city due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

A Bench led by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana said the trajectory of the virus was unpredictable.

“You want to pray to the God. You can do it from home. I also wanted to go to Puri, but could not in the last one and half years. This is not the time,” the CJI addressed the lawyers for Odisha Vikas Parishad, an NGO.

The plea was to permit rath yatras in Baripada, Sasang and other cities in the State.

The State government has allowed only rituals in the Puri Jagannath temple and holding of the Rath Yatra within the city.

In 2020, the court had lifted its June 18 ban on the conduct of Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra after ensuring a complete lack of public attendance for the festival to avoid spread of infection amid a pandemic.

The court had ordered “strict curfew” in the city of Puri during the entire duration of the festival. All entry points to the city had been closed during the festival period.

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