Supreme Court on Thursday has refused permission for Muharram processions by saying that it would lead to chaos and “one particular community will be targeted” for spreading the coronavirus.
While hearing the plea on the matter, Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said, “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.”
A petition was filed by a man named Kalbe Jawad from Uttar Pradesh who wanted the permission for Muharram processions on Saturday and Sunday across the country.
The petitioner has cited the court’s decision of allowing Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra festival.
CJI on the petitioner’s claim 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.”
“We cannot risk the health of all people. If you had asked for one place, we could have assessed the risk,” he said.
In June, the apex court had granted the state to hold the annual chariot festival this year despite the Coronavirus pandemic.
As per its order, no more than 500 people were allowed to pull the chariots. They are permitted to do that only if they have tested negative for Coronavirus. This number includes temple servitors and police personnel.
In his petition, Jawad had asked for permission for a procession in Lucknow, saying that a large number of Muslims of the Shia community live in the UP capital.
The Supreme Court said the petitioner should go to the Allahabad High Court for permission.
India’s Coronavirus tally crossed 33 lakh-mark on Thursday as the country reported the biggest single-day spike of 75,760 fresh cases in the last 24 hours.
As many as 1,023 people died of the deadly infection in the same period taking the death toll to 60,472, Union Health Ministry data shows.