Jharkhand High Court: The Division Bench of Dr Ravi Ranjan, CJ and Sujit Narayan Prasad, J., directed State to decide to conduct Rath Yatra Puja.
The instant writ petition was filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India on behalf of the members of Jagannathpur Mandir Nyas Samittee by way of public interest litigation inter alia for issuance of direction upon the Respondent 2 to 6, to allow the Petitioner Trust Committee to perform/celebrate the ritual/festival of Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra scheduled on 12.07.2021 and 20.07.2021 with COVID-19 appropriate Standard operating procedures (SOPs) absolutely in the manner the Rath Yatra at Puri has been ordered to be conducted by the Supreme Court of India.
Counsel for the petitioner submitted that there is a temple situated in the district of Ranchi, Jharkhand of Lord Jagannath having been established in the year 1691 and since then Rath Yatra festival is being celebrated every year in June/July and during this period, 10 days Mela/Fair is also being organized and the same is concluded after the return of the Lord Jagannath to his home, similarly as the festival in the Lord Jagannath Temple situated at Puri in being celebrated.
The Court relied on SC ruling Odisha Vikash Parishad v. Union of India, (2020) 7 SCC 264 wherein Rath Yatra was allowed with COVID-19 appropriate conditions and subject to some other conditions as laid down therein.
The Court thus directed “the State to take its own decision with regard to the grievance of the petitioner well before the Rath Yatra Puja. However, while taking such decision, directions of the Supreme Court in this regard should be followed.”
[Jagannathpur Mandir Nyas Samittee v. State of Jharkhand, 2021 SCC OnLine Jhar 454, decided on 09-07-2021]
Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.
For the Petitioner: Mr. Ajit Kumar
For the Respondents: Mr. Sachin Kumar