The Supreme Court on Monday, permitted 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 order was passed in a plea seeking modification of the apex court’s 18 June order staying this year’s Rath Yatra due to the covid-19 pandemic.
A three-judge SC bench comprising CJI SA Bobde, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice AS Bopanna ordered “strict curfew” in the city of Puri from Monday night (June 22) onwards till the entire duration of the festival. All entry points to the city would also remain closed during this period. The festival is scheduled to begin from June 23.
“During the period of curfew no one would be allowed to come out of their houses or their places of residence, such as, hotels, lodging houses, etc. To start with, the curfew shall begin tonight at 8 p.m.,” the Supreme Court ordered.
“If it is possible to ensure that there is no public attendance, we see no reason why the Rath Yatra cannot be conducted safely along its usual route from temple to temple,” the court said.
The apex court, however, added that “the state can even stop the yatra or festivities if they feel it is going out of hand.”
The festival is scheduled to begin from today June 23.
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.
Read Full Order: