No Rath Yatra in Puri this year! Supreme Court stays Rath Yatra at Jagannath Temple due to Covid-19

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Published: June 18, 2020 2:12 PM

Amid Coronavirus outbreak in the country, Supreme Court has notified that there will be no Yath Ratra at Puri’s Jagannath Temple this year.

Rathayatra, Shree Jagannath Temple, covid 19, Odisha government, coronavirus pandemic, Indian Railways, live telecast of rathayatra“Lord Jagannath will forgive us if we stay the Rath Yatra this year,” the court said.

Amid Coronavirus outbreak in the country, Supreme Court has notified that there will be no Yath Ratra at Puri’s Jagannath Temple this year. The apex court has ruled a stay order on the annual Rath Yatra that was supposed to take place on June 23 this year. The decision has come after an Odisha-based rights organisation appealed a stay order on the celebration that takes place annually in Odisha. The ruling given today said that gatherings like these cannot take place given the situation in India on the back of the Coronavirus pandemic. This Supreme Court believes is in the interest of public safety and health.

“Lord Jagannath will forgive us if we stay the Rath Yatra this year,” the court said, adding that no religious or secular activity can take place currently. According to a report by LiveLaw, Harish Salve who is a senior advocate also stated that putting a stop on this festivity this year would be better for public welfare, while some intervenors pleaded that the permission to perform rituals should be given. It is to note that the petitioner claimed allowance of Rath Yatra in Puri poses a threat to lakhs of people and a large scale transmission of the novel Coronavirus.

To be sure, while visiting religious places with proper protocols have been announced, the Ministry of Home Affairs in its notice earlier this month has prohibited holding large congregations as it would significantly contribute to an increase in the number of positive Coronavirus cases in India. Approximately 10 lakh people from across the country take part in the annual Rath Yatra.

Currently, Odisha has reported 4,338 positive COVID-19 cases where 1,280 cases are active and death toll is at 11. In India, overall cases have crossed 3.6 lakh and are increasing significantly on a daily basis.

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