The state of Uttar Pradesh on Monday told the Supreme Court that it has decided to cancel the annual Kanwar Yatra in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The bench of Justice R.F. Nariman and Justice B.R. Gavai said, “We direct the Authorities at all levels when untoward incidents which directly affect lives of the public take place, then it will be looked upon sternly and action should be taken immediately.”
“The Kanwar yatra is postponed this year, like last year, because of Covid-19 pandemic. If the local devotee want to go for local yatra and wish to do ‘Abhishek,’ it will be allowed,” the Counsel of State of Uttar Pradesh submitted.
Earlier, the apex court had taken suo motu cognisance of reports that the Uttar Pradesh government was organising the pilgrimage and the bench had made it clear that no right is above the Right to Health of the Indian citizenry.
The bench also took up the Interlocutory Application, filed by P.K.D. Nambiar. Senior Advocate Vikas Singh appeared in this IA and submitted, “The Kerala Government gave three days relaxation in lieu of Bakrid, when the Covid patients were very high in the state. There were 15,000 patients, when Kerala government allowed relaxation for Bakrid celebration. The State of UP has less than 50 cases of Covid-19.”
“If UP is not allowed to conduct the Yatra, then the State of Kerala shall also not be allowed to give relaxation for Bakrid celebrations,” he added.
The bench, taking cognisance of the case, ordered, “Given the situation and the celebration going on in the state of Kerala, a reply be filed by the end of today by the State and the matter to be item 1 before us tomorrow.”
Read order below:15729_2021_32_37_28606_Order_19-Jul-2021