HE Supreme Court Tuesday refused to permit the Rath Yatra across Odisha except at the Puri Jagannath temple as decided by the Odisha Government and upheld by the Orissa High Court.
“We hope God will allow us these rituals next year”, the Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, who was heading the bench, remarked, adding that he was a devotee of Lord Jagannath and had wanted to visit the Puri temple for the last one and a half years.
“But the situation is such that I have to pray from a distance. If the Rath Yatra is permitted, it will be the devotees who could suffer and we don’t want to take the risk,” he said.
The Odisha government informed the court it would be impossible for the state to ensure observance of strict Covid protocols in thousands of Jagannath temples across the state.
The Odisha govt had allowed the Rath Yatra in Puri only, which was upheld by the Odisha High Court. Aggrieved with the decision, appeals were filed in the apex court.