The Gujarat High Court has refuesed to give permission for the conduct of the Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra this year at Ahmedabad amid rising Coronavirus cases.
The hearing started at 00:45 AM and the order was pronounced at 2:00AM.
The division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice J B Pardilwala rejected the application filed by the state government and five other parties seeking modification of the court’s order on Saturday staying the 143rd Rath Yatra.
The state government had made several proposals to ensure that the virus will not spread and Temple authorities also remarked that the Yatra will not take its the usual route, will be without public participation and will conclude by 11 am.
The state government cited the Supreme Court order allowing Odisha to conduct the Rath Yatra in Puri with necessary restrictions.
While rejecting the applications, the Gujarat High Court observed that the situation in Puri and Ahmedabad cannot be compared.
The bench held:
“There may not be denial about the order passed by the Supreme Court today, but the situation in Ahmedabad on account of pandemic of COVID-19 cannot be compared with the situation in Puri or in the State of Orissa. Despite the fact that assurance being given by the State and all other applicants we still do not find any good ground to recall or modify our order dated 20.06.2020. All the Civil Applications are accordingly rejected. We make it clear that on account of paucity of time and the urgency of the order being made available to the parties, we have not dealt with the reasons in detail. We had put this question to the learned counsels for the parties also, but all the learned counsels including the learned Advocate General stated that detailed reasons may not be provided.”
Gujarat is one of India’s worst-hit states with over 27,000 coronavirus cases, including 1,663 deaths. Ahmedabad alone has nearly 19,000 cases.