Gujarat High Court has dismissed a batch of petitions seeking permission to conduct Jagannath Rath Yatra at Ahmedabad in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. The order has been passed by a division bench comprising of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JB Pardiwala during an urgent hearing held on Tuesday at 2 am.
The petitioners, including State Government, submitted that permission be granted with conditions in view of the Supreme Court Order permitting Jagganth Rath Yathra in Puri. Dismissing the applications, the Bench held: “There may not be denial about the order passed by the Supreme Court, but the situation in Ahmedabad on account of pandemic of COVID-19 cannot be compared with the situation in Puri or in the State of Orissa. Despite the fact that assurance being given by the State and all other applicants, we still do not find any good ground to recall or modify our order dated 20th June.”
On June 20, the HC had stayed the proposed Rath Yatra in Ahmedabad citing concerns of COVID-19 spread due to large congregation. This order was sought to be modified by the applicants on the strength of the Supreme Court order allowing Rath Yatra at Puri on conditions.