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BREAKING : 'Disturbed' By Uttar Pradesh Govt Decision To Allow Kanwar Yatra, Supreme Court Takes Suo Moto Cognizance

Mehal Jain
14 July 2021 5:16 AM GMT
BREAKING : Disturbed By Uttar Pradesh Govt Decision To Allow Kanwar Yatra, Supreme Court Takes Suo Moto Cognizance
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The Supreme Court bench headed by Justice RF Nariman on Wednesday took suo moto cognizance of the decision of Uttar Pradesh Government to allow Kanwar Yatra amid the COVID pandemic.The bench has issued notice to Union Government and UP Govt. Matter will be heard on Friday.The neighboring state of Uttarakhand yesterday decided to call off the Kanwar Yatra, citing the pandemic risk....

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The  Supreme Court bench headed by Justice RF Nariman on Wednesday took suo moto cognizance of the decision of Uttar Pradesh Government to allow Kanwar Yatra amid the COVID pandemic.

The bench has issued notice to Union Government and UP Govt. Matter will be heard on Friday.

The neighboring state of Uttarakhand yesterday decided to call off the Kanwar Yatra, citing the pandemic risk. However, Uttar Pradesh has decided to allow the pilgrimage yatra with certain curbs.

The yatra is proposed to be held from July 25 to August 6. As per a report in the Indian Express, the last time the yatra was organised in 2019, nearly 3.5 crore devotees (kanwariyas) had visited Haridwar while over 2-3 crore people had visited pilgrimage spots in Western UP.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday took suo motu cognizance of a report in The Indian Express published on Wednesday morning which stated that "Amid fears of a possible third wave of Covid-19, the Uttarakhand government has suspended the kanwar yatra even as neighbouring Uttar Pradesh is pressing ahead with the annual ritual that sees a heavy movement of pilgrims across states in the northern belt".

"We read something disturbing in the Indian Express today that the state of UP has chosen to continue with the Kanwar yatra, while the state of Uttarakhand with its hindsight of experience, has said that there will be no Yatra. We wish to know what the stand of the respective governments is. The citizens of India are completely perplexed. They don't know what is going on. And all this amid the Prime Minister, when asked about a third wave of Covid striking the nation, saying 'we cannot compromise even one bit'. We are issuing notice to the Centre, the state of UP and the state of Uttarakhand and because the yatra is scheduled to leave from 25 July, we want them to file an early response so that the matter can be heard on Friday", Justice Nariman said to SG Tushar Mehta.
The bench dictated the following order: "We are a little disturbed given today's headline in the Indian express about the Kanvar yatra which is likely to be held from July 25. The newspaper report headline states as follows: (...). The headline just above this headline speaks about the Prime Minister's statement when he met some chief ministers and when people ask about a third wave of Covid striking citizens of India- that 'it is up to us to stop it and we cannot compromise even a bit'. Given the disparate stances, it is important that the Home Secretary, Union of India respond to this news report. Given the fact that this yatra is to take off from 25th July it is necessary to fix a short time table. Affidavit will be filed by Friday morning by the Principal secretary, state of Uttarakhand, Home Secretary, Union of India and Principal Secretary, state of UP. This court has taken suo motu cognizance and has that issue issued notice to the state of UP and Uttarakhand and Union of India to file response. List on Friday. Order to be sent to the Chief Justice of India"
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