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Supreme Court to hear plea urging cancellation of Rath Yatra today

Supreme Court had last month given a go ahead to the Rath Yatra with COVID-19 restrictions

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The Supreme Court will today take up the petition, seeking cancellation of Rath Yatra, scheduled to start on July 12 in Puri, Odisha, in view of the surge in cases of Novel Coronavirus.

The bench, led by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana, will hear the plea filed by Odisha Vikash Parishad, seeking cancellation of the Chariot festival dedicated to Lord Jagannath, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier on June 21, the apex court had allowed the Puri Rath Yatra with restrictions asked the state government and the Centre to work in tandem. A bench headed by then Chief Justice S.A. Bobde noted that the state government has the freedom to stop the Rath Yatra, if it observed a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in Puri.

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During the hearing, the then Chief Justice had noted that the court was willing to modify its June 18 order, taking in view the Novel Coronavirus pandemic. The Court said the Jagannath Temple management committee and state government can conduct the Rath Yatra in accordance with the guidelines. The court directed the Rath Yatra in a very restricted manner without allowing devotee congregation. The Odisha government agreed to coordinate with the Centre.

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