Two days after the Supreme Court’s stay on Lord Jagannath’s RathYatra , a similar stay on the yatra and any other related activities has been passed by the Gujarat High Court.
A division bench comprised by Chief Justice VikramNath and Justice JB Pardiwala during an urgent hearing for Jagannath’s Rath Yatra held on Saturday at 7:15 pm passed the order.
In view of the Supreme Court order and considering the COVID situation which may be aggravated by a potential religious congregation at the jagannath’s Rath Yatra, the following obseravtions were made by the bench,
“There shall be no RathYatra carried out for this year at Ahmedabad and at any other district in the State of Gujarat. We have extended the relief claimed so that no emergent situation arises in the State of Gujarat. We further direct that there shall be no activities secular or religious associated with the Jagannath’s RathYatra during this period.”
The Supreme Court had ordered that no Jagannath’s RathYatra shall be held in the Lord Jagannath Temple in Odisha this year, on account of the pandemic situation while pronouncing the decision in “Odisha VikashParishad v. Union of India &Ors” on 18 June.
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The order stated, “We consider it appropriate that in the interest of public health and safety of citizens to restrain the Respondents from holding the Jagannath’s RathYatra this year. We direct that no jagannath’s Rath Yatra will be held in the temple area of Odisha“,
A similar relief was sought before the High Court, in a plea filed by HiteshkumarVittalbhaiChavda, who informed the court that the Temple Trust had applied to the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and to the Police Commissioner, Ahmedabad for granting appropriate permission and for making necessary arrangements so that smooth and safe passage is provided to the Jagannath’s Rath Yatra.
Submissions explained that no decision on the same had been taken till date.
It was further pointed out that that the Yatra covers 16 to 18 Kilometers passage and it will pass through 3 Containment Zones and 1 Buffer Containment Zone.
Direction to dispose of the request expeditiously was pleaded.
The Court shockingly remarked,
“We are astonished on this inaction of the Municipal Commissioner, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and 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 RathYatra is to be carried out on 23.06.2020 i.e. just two days away. Maintenance of law and order in the State is in the domain of the Department of Home.”
Directions were given by the Court to file respective affidavits for Jagannath’s Rath Yatra to the Commissioner, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, the Police Commissioner, Ahmedabad and also the Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Home, Government of Gujarat, elaborating the reasons and circumstances why the application was not disposed of well within time.
The next hearing shall commence on July 6, 2020 for Jagannath’s Rath Yatra case.
Case Title: HiteshkumarVittalbhaiChavda v. Shri JagannathjiMandir Trust
Case No.: R/WP (PIL) No. 90/2020
Quorum: Chief Justice VikramNath and Justice JB Pardiwala
Legal Representatives: Advocate Aum M Kotwal, Senior Advocate Anshin Desai assisted by Advocate Nandish Thakkar with Sanat Pandya (for Petitioner); Advocate General Kamal Trivedi (for and Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation); Government Pleader Manisha Lavkumar Shah with Assistant Government Pleader DM Devnani and Public Prosecutor Mitesh Amin (for State)
Read Order here: