Chief Justice Vikram nath and Justice Pardiwala
Chief Justice Vikram nath and Justice Pardiwala
Litigation News

[2 AM order]: "Situation in Ahmedabad due to COVID-19 cannot be compared with Puri" Gujarat High Court denies permission to hold Rath Yatra

The Gujarat High Court has declined to give permission for the conduct of the Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra this year at Ahmedabad in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pallavi Saluja

The Gujarat High Court has declined to give permission for the conduct of the Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra this year at Ahmedabad in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Mahant Akhileshwardasji Ramlakhandasji vs State of Gujarat)

The hearing started at 00:45 AM and the order was pronounced at 2:00AM.

The State of Gujarat moved the High Court at around 11.30 pm urging the High Court to review its stay order passed last Saturday on the Yatra and to allow the same to happen in Ahmedabad.

In its application, the State had emphasized that it appreciates the present pandemic situation in Ahmedabad. However, keeping in mind the 142-year old tradition involved in the regular conduct of the Rath Yatra every year in the city, and given the religious sentiments attached to the event, the High Court was urged to modify its order halting its conduct this year.

To buttress its argument, the Gujarat Government highlighted that the Supreme Court itself on Monday modified its earlier order on the issue with a view to balancing the interests of religious sentiments and public safety amid the pandemic situation in Odisha.

However, the Bench observed that,

There may not be denial about the order passed by the Supreme Court today, 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.
Gujarat High Court

Rejecting all the applications, the Court held,

"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 20.06.2020."

Besides the State's plea, several Intervention Applications with allied prayers were also moved in the Gujarat High Court seeking a stay on the Court's Saturday order in which it had clarified that the Rath Yatra cannot be conducted in Ahmedabad this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

These pleas followed after the High Court had already declined permission to conduct the Ahmedabad Rath Yatra a second time on Monday.

The pleas were moved after the Supreme Court on Monday gave the go-ahead for the conduct of the annual Rath Yatra at Puri, Odisha.

Since the order was pronounced at 2 AM, the copy of the orders were sent by WhatsApp to the parties and media as there was a glitch at NIC, Delhi.

WhatsApp order at 2 AM
WhatsApp order at 2 AM

Advocate General Kamal Trivedi and Government Pleader Manisha L. Shah, assisted by Assistant Government Pleaders Dharmesh Devnani and Aishvarya Gupta, and Public Prosecutor Mitesh Amin appeared for State of Gujarat.

Senior Advocate Anshin Desai, assisted by Nandish Thakkar and Sanat Pandya and Advocates Vijay Patel, Nilay Patel, Maunish Pathak, Romil Kodekar, Aum Kotwal, Hardik Brahmbhatt, Vivek Bhamre, Shivani Rajpurohit and N.K.Paneri appeared for other parties.

Read Order

Gujarat High Court Rath Yatra Order.pdf
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