The Jagannath Sanskruti Jana Jagarana Manch through its Secretary Saroj Kumar Sahoo, has filed an application in the Supreme Court seeking recall of the order staying the annual Jagannath Yatra to be held at Puri, Odisha.
The applicant has submitted that it is seeking the rejection of the writ petition as the issue and prayer as prayed by the Petitioner has already been decided by the High Court of Odisha.
The applicant has alleged that the petitioner has concealed the material facts before the Apex Court.
It has been submitted that as per the order of the High court and decision of the State Government the DebaSnan Purnima ritual; was performed on June 5 with the help of 800 servitors. All the servitors before performing the ritual had undergone COVID test and were tested negative. Moreover all the servitors are in isolation for more than a month.
Further as per directions of the High Court and the State Government, 372 persons are engaged in the construction of the 3 Raths/ Chariots for more than one and a half months and all are in isolation and tested negative for COVID 19.
The applicant has further submitted that the Puri Municipality is categorized as Green Zone and thousands of people of Puri Municipality had gathered on the road connecting the Puri Jagannath Temple to Gundicha Temple on May 5 by maintaining social distance and following the guidelines, sang the Odisha State Anthem.
The applicant has also submitted that the distance of the Puri Jagannath Temple to Gundicha Temple is 3 Km and social distancing can be maintained by 500-600 persons.
The applicant has informed the Court that every year around 2 lakhs devotees are present for the darshan of “DebaSnana Purnima”, however with the guidelines of the State Government and District Administration, imposing section 144 Cr.PC, no devotee or persons are allowed to watch the darshan.
The applicant has hence stated that “under the above facts and circumstances it is not possible and impracticable for the State Government and the District Administration to conduct the Rath Yatra while maintaining social distancing.”
Further it has been submitted that the customary Rath Yatra has been performed since time immemorial and the sentiments of millions of devotees are attached to the same.
The applicant has thus urged the Court to recall and modify its order to the extent that the Rath Yatra may be performed with the help of 500-600 servitors by following the guidelines, maintaining the social distance and with certain impositions and conditions.
-India Legal Bureau