COVID-19| No Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra this year: SC

Supreme Court: The 3-judge bench of SA Bobde, CJ and Dinesh Maheshwari and AS Bopanna, JJ has directed that there shall be no Rath Yatra anywhere in the temple town of Odisha or in any other part of the State this year. The Court also directed that there shall be no activities secular or religious associated with the Rath Yatra during this period.

“Having regard to the danger presented by such a large gathering of people for the Rath Yatra, we consider it appropriate in the interests of public health and safety of citizens who are devotees to restrain the respondents from holding the Rath Yatra this year.”

The order of the Court came after noticing that the number of people that are likely to gather for the annual Jagannath Rath Yatra scheduled to be held from 23rd June, 2020, is going to be about 10 to 12 lakh and that the festivities normally continue for a period of 10 to 12 days.

The Court said,

“Article 251 of the Constitution of India itself confers the right to freely profess and propagate religion subject to health.”

[Odisha Vikash Parishad v. Union of India, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 519 , order dated 18.06.2020]

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