SC agrees to allow Puri’s Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra with restrictions

PTI

File Photo Supreme Court

File Photo Supreme Court

The Supreme Court, on Monday, allowed the Lord Jagannath Yatra of Puri to be held with certain restrictions. The apex court said, “Puri rath yatra will be held with coordination of Temple committee, State and central Govt without compromising with a health issue.”

The court also empowered the state to take decisions keeping in mind the larger public good and said that the state (Odisha) can even stop the yatra or festivities if they feel it is going out of hand.

SC said that it cannot “micro-manage” Lord Jagannath’s Rath Yatra in Puri and will leave the matter to wisdom of state, Centre and temple management.

Odisha government assured the court that it will coordinate with temple management and Centre to make things smooth during Rath Yatra. The Centre said that Rath Yatra can be conducted without compromising on citizen’s health, with the co-operation of state and temple trust. Earlier, the apex court said that it ‘can’t compromise on public health’.

As a word of caution, the apex court said that the order pertains to Rath Yatra in Puri only, not at other places in Odisha. Meanwhile, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik will chair the Rath Yatra preparatory meeting at 5 pm today in Bhubaneswar.

The Puri Rath Yatra, which is attended by lakhs of people from across the world, is scheduled from June 23.

The apex court had on June 18 said that in the interest of public health and safety of citizens, this year’s Puri Rath Yatra cannot be allowed and that “Lord Jagannath won’t forgive us if we allow” it.

A day after the order was passed, some applications were filed in the top court seeking recall and modification of its order.