Jharkhand High Court
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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

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Orissa High Court: S. K. Panigrahi J. allowed the bail application. by imposing some stricter terms and conditions and made clear that any of the observations made shall not prejudicially affect the fair trial of the present case.

The petitioner is the National Chairman of Dharma Rakshyak Shri Dara Sena and is accused of uploading a message in a WhatsApp group urging people to join him on a mission to assault the former Chief Justice of India i.e. CJI with shoes when the Bench headed by the CJI refused to give permission for observance of the CAR FESTIVAL (Rath Yatra) in the year 2020 at Puri. He believed that the former CJI is solely responsible for halting the Rath Yatra and aggrieving Hindu sentiments and therefore portrayed the former CJI as a Naxalite and Christian Terrorist and also allegedly made provocative statement inciting hatred and communal disharmony among the people of the nation. He was booked for commission of offences punishable under Sections 153/153-A/153-B/295-A/504/505/506 of the Penal Code, 1860 i.e. IPC read with Section 66(F) of the Information Technology Act,2008 i.e. IT Act. The petitioner filed instant bail application.

The Court considered the submission made by the petitioner and relied on judgment Prahlad Singh Bhati v. NCT, Delhi (2001) 4 SCC 280 wherein it was observed

“8. The jurisdiction to grant bail has to be exercised on the basis of well-settled principles having regard to the circumstances of each case and not in an arbitrary manner. While granting the bail, the court has to keep in mind the nature of accusations, the nature of evidence in support thereof, the severity of the punishment which conviction will entail, the character, behaviour, means and standing of the accused, circumstances which are peculiar to the accused, reasonable possibility of securing the presence of the accused at the trial, reasonable apprehension of the witnesses being tampered with, the larger interests of the public or State and similar other considerations. It has also to be kept inmind that for the purposes of granting the bail the legislature has used the words “reasonable grounds for believing” instead of “the evidence” which means the court dealing with the grant of bail can only satisfy it (sic itself) as to whether there is a genuine case against the accused and that the prosecution will be able to produce prima facie evidence in support of the charge. It is not expected, at this stage, to have the evidence establishing the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt.”

The Court thus held “this Court is inclined to allow the prayer of the petitioner.

It also held “Accordingly, the court in seisin over the matter will enlarge the petitioner on bail by imposing some stricter terms and conditions.”

[Mukesh Jain v. State of Odisha, BLAPL No. 3740 of 2021, decided on 06-07-2021]

Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Counsel for petitioner: Adv. J. Samantaray

Counsel for respondent: Adv. Mr. M.K. Mohanty

Case BriefsCOVID 19High Courts

Gujarat High Court: A Division Bench of Vikram Nath, CJ and J.B. Pardiwala, J., rejected all the civil applications in a midnight hearing, filed with regard to granting permission for Rath Yatra on the ground that Supreme Court allowed the Yatra in restricted manner by modifying its earlier order.

In the evening of 22-06-2020, two applications were filed. One on behalf of Mahant Akhileshwardasji Ramlakhandasji, the representative of Gopal Lalji Ramji Mandir Moti Salavivad Saraspur Mosad (uncle) of Lord Jagannath and another filed on behalf of Krutesh Samir Patel with regard to permitting the Rath Yatra with shortest possible route.

Before any order could be passed for the above two applications by the Court, more applications were filed.

All the applications pertained to modification of the order passed on 20-06-2020 and to permit the Rath Yatra being carried out as usual or may be with certain conditions to be imposed. The main ground was the order passed by the Supreme Court on 22.06.2020 which was uploaded sometime in the evening relating to the Jagannath Mandir at Puri of Orissa State.

Bench stated that the situation of Ahmedabad on account of COVID-19 cannot be compared with the situation in Puri or in the State of Orissa.

Thus in view of the present situation, all the applications filed are rejected. [Mahant Akhileshwardasji Ramlakhandasji v. State of Gujarat, 2020 SCC OnLine Guj 917 , decided on 23-06-2020]

Also Read:

[COVID-19] Guj HC | No Rath Yatra shall be carried out at Ahmedabad; No activities secular or religious associated with Rath Yatra to be conducted

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Gujarat High Court: A Division Bench of Vikram Nath, CJ and J.B. Pardiwala, J., held that in view of present times of outbreak of COVID-19, there shall be no Rath Yatra at Ahmedabad and any of the districts in the State of Gujarat.

Interim relief sought in the present matter is with regard to restraining the carrying out of the Rath Yatra organised by Shri Jagannath Mandir Trust in the wake of present situation of COVID-19 an in particular relation to Ahmedabad where a huge number of COVID positive cases and mortality rate being highest has been found.

Another point that is to be noted is that once the procession starts, it would be very difficult to stop the public at large from joining the Rath Yatra.

It has been submitted by Senior Advocate, Anshin Desai that Supreme Court in the case Vikash Parishad v. UOI, Writ Petition (Civil) No 571 of 2020, 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. It is further directed that there shall be no activities secular or religious associated with the Rath Yatra during this period.

Since 18-05-2020, decision on the application with regard to appropriate permission has been pending with Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and police commissioner, Ahmedabad.

Advocate General, Kamal Trivedi also accepted the above stated stand with regard to the permission.

Court stated that it is astonished on the inaction of Municipal Commissioner, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation as also the Police Commissioner, Ahmedabad, as to why no decision was taken and communicated to the organizer well within time, rather than keeping the matter pending till the last date when the Rath Yatra is to be carried out on 23-06-2020. 

Thus, in view of the above, bench requires the Commissioner, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, the Police Commissioner, Ahmedabad as also the Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Home, Government of Gujarat to file their respective affidavits with an explanation on why the above-mentioned application was not disposed of.

In view of the above facts and circumstances along with the Supreme Court Order, in the present matter, High Court directed that there shall be no Rath Yatra carried out this year at Ahmedabad and at any district in Gujarat.

Adding to the above, Court also directed that there shall be no activities secular or religious associated with the Rath Yatra during this period of COVID-19.

Matter to be listed on 6-07-2020.[Hitesh Kumar Vittalbhai Chavda v. Shri Jagannathji Mandir Trust, 2020 SCC OnLine Guj 910 , decided on 20-06-2020]