Indian Supreme Court refuses permission for Muharram processions, cites covid

The Supreme Court was hearing a petition by Syed Kalbe Jawad from Uttar Pradesh, who cited the June order permitting the Rath Yatra festival in Odisha.

Refusing permission for Muharram processions in the country over the weekend, the Supreme Court today said it would lead to chaos and “one particular community will be targeted” for spreading the coronavirus.
“If we allow this procession across the country there will be chaos and one particular community will be targeted for spreading the pandemic COVID-19,” Chief Justice SA Bobde said.

The Supreme Court was hearing a petition by Syed Kalbe Jawad from Uttar Pradesh, who cited the June order permitting the Rath Yatra festival in Odisha.

The Chief Justice said, “You are referring to the Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra, that was at one place and one set route. In that case we could assess the risk and pass orders. The difficulty is you are asking for a general order for the whole country.”

Justice Bobde went on to say, “We cannot risk the health of all people. If you had asked for one place, we could have assessed the risk.”

The Supreme Court spoke about the difficulty of blanket permission for the country and said even the state governments were not party to the petition.

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