Rath Yatra Gets Green Signal From Supreme Court

The Rath Yatra, scheduled to begin on June 23, has received a green signal today from the Supreme Court. The concerned parties have been given the authority to hold the annual Rath Yatra in a restricted manner, maintaining certain safety protocols.

“If it is confined to Puri alone in a limited way without public attendance as proposed by Gajapati Maharaj of Puri, Chairman of the Puri Jagannath Temple administration, the state government will endeavour to make necessary arrangements to conduct it accordingly,” the Supreme Court bench said.

On June 18, the apex court had declared that this year’s Puri Rath Yatra could not be allowed in the interest of public health and safety of citizens. CJI Bobde had then said, “Lord Jagannath won’t forgive us if we allow it”.

However, earlier today, a three-judge bench chaired under Chief Justice SA Bobde, passed the final order undoing the previous verdict. The other two judges included in the bench were Justices Dinesh Maheswari and A S Bopanna. The Odisha government informed the bench that it was ready to operate the procession with precautions.

“On behalf of devotees of Lord Jagannath, Govt of Odisha welcomes this decision of Supreme Court. All guidelines will be followed strictly. It’s our duty to look after how Rath Yatra can be conducted peacefully and safely. State govt will take all measures,” Minister Arun Sahoo said.

Notably, a 19-year-old Muslim student from Nayagarh is among the 24 petitioners who have moved the Supreme Court to revise its earlier order. The chief servitor at the Puri Jagannath Temple, Pattajoshi Mohapatra, informed the Supreme Court that Rath Yatra is an essential religious practice preserved by the Constitution of India and its cancellation would trouble the sanctity of the temple.

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