Gujarat High Court dismisses all applications seeking to take out Rath Yatra procession

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court has dismissed all six petitions including that of the State government seeking permission to take out annual Rath Yatra procession which takes place for last 142 years without a single miss.

The Gujarat Government highlighted that the Supreme Court itself on Monday modified its earlier order on the issue with a view to balancing the interests of religious sentiments and public safety amid the pandemic situation in Odisha.

However the Gujarat High Court division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JB Pardiwala opined that Jagannath Puri (Odisha) and Ahmedabad are not comparable.

The Gujarat government assured measures such as curfew till 11 am on Rath Yatra route and completion of Rath Yatra procession by that time. No stoppage of Rath Yatra anywhere on the route to Saraspur and return. Only three Raths to form Yatra. They will be pulled by mechanized vehicle (tractors) for faster movement. Only five persons per rath maintaining social distancing. Only four vehicle as part of Rath Yatra procession, two with saints and other two for media. Live telecast of yatra,presence of police, no use of animals, no distribution of prasad among others.

However the court opined that yatra should move inside the temple campus only. In absence of people, there’s no meaning of taking out a procession. Government should bother about protecting people’s lives in this pandemic.Faith can’t be so fragile to break if yatra doesn’t take place.What’s the meaning of yatra in absence of people. No permission granted.

Hearing which started at 1.00 am completed at 1.45 to 2.00 am around.