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SC refuses to grant permission for Muharram procession across the country, says case different from Puri Rath Yatra

"Granting general permissions for the whole country to take out Muharram procession will lead to chaos. Puri Rath Yatra and Jain Temple cases were different because they were limited events with identified areas of access", the Supreme Court stated.

A Supreme Court bench headed by by CJI SA Bobde refused to grant permission for carrying out Muharram processions across the country. The bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian observed that in the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, if the procession is allowed, it will lead to chaos.

“Granting general permissions for the whole country to take out Muharram procession will lead to chaos. A whole community may be targeted for spreading the virus. We, as a court, cannot expose you to that risk. We cannot give general directions”, the Supreme Court further said.

Muharram procession different from Puri Rath Yatra, cannot be compared: SC

CJI further went on to explain how the Muharram procession was completely different from the Puri Rath Yatra or the case of the Jain temples. He said that the Puri or the Jain temples had “identified areas of access”. Permission to the Puri Rath Yatra was given because it was from one point to another. Whereas, in the Jain Temple, Mumbai case, the plea for limited access was permitted. These were all limited prayers and we cannot pass general directions, Justice Bobde said.

It is notable here that no devotees were allowed in the Puri Rathayatra and temple servitors, who were already tested negative for the coronavirus, had carried out the rituals under strict guidelines.

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When the petitioner asked if permission to hold the Muharram procession in only Lucknow can be granted, as a large percentage of the Shia community resided there, CJI asked the petitioner to move Allahabad HC.

Muharram will be observed on August 29. The plea sought a direction to allow the procession to take place across the country.

Shia cleric dares Lucknow authorities for putting a blanket ban on religious events due to coronavirus pandemic

We had reported last week that the controversial Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad Naqvi had warned the Lucknow authorities against imposing a blanket ban on all Muharram rituals. The Shia cleric also said that he will be holding majlis (sermons) at the Imambara despite coronavirus protocols and dared the authorities to arrest them based on the “unconstitutional order”.

Attacking the Lucknow police authorities for putting a blanket ban on religious events due to coronavirus pandemic, Jawad had said that the guidelines issued for Muharram are unconstitutional and illegal.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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