The Apex court asked the Odisha government to make necessary arrangements to conduct Puri’s Rath Yatra, scheduled to start from June 23, in a restricted manner in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The apex court also said it cannot “micro-manage” the rituals and left it to the wisdom of state, the Centre and temple management to deal with that issue.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehtha, mentioned the matter before the bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra and stated that “It is a matter of faith for crores. If Lord Jagannath will not come out tomorrow, he cannot come out for 12 years as per traditions. He said, “The tradition of centuries may not be stopped”, while recalling earlier court’s decision i.e. on June 18 for staying of yatra where the bench said Rath-Yatra, cannot be allowed and that “Lord Jagannath won’t forgive us if we allow” it, for modification of its order. 

He further added that the government can impose curfew for a day”. The Odisha government was also in favor of the Centre’s stand in the apex court, which is likely to hear the modification plea during the day itself. The yatra is attended by lakhs of people across the world and is scheduled from June 23. 

By- Durga Bhatt