SURENDRA PANIGRAHI Vs. STATE OF ODISHA
HIGH COURT OF ORISSA
STATE OF ODISHA
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Mohammad Rafiq, J. -
(1.) These two writ petitions have been filed in the nature of Public Interest Litigation, raising the issue about the Car Festival of Lord Shree Jagannath at Puri, which is scheduled to take place on 23.06.2020. One of the above writ petitions i.e. W.P.(C) No.13853 of 2020, filed by one Dillip Kumar Ray, has been taken up on special mention today, along with W.P.(C) No. 12494 of 2020, already on board, after notice to learned counsel for the State-opposite parties.
(2.) The prayer in the first writ petition filed by Surendra Panigrahi-petitioner is that the Temple Managing Committee of Lord Shree Jagannath, Puri and other opposite parties-the State Government and other authorities, may be directed to postpone the Car Festival at Puri due to pandemic Coronavirus (COVID-19). Another writ petition has been filed with the prayer that Car Festival/Rath Yatra/Gundicha Yatra should be allowed to be held by strictly adhering to the conditions imposed in the guidelines issued by the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi vide Order No.40-3/2020-DM-I(A) dated 30.05.2020 (Annexure-B/5 to the Preliminary Counter Affidavit) and the order dated 01.06.2020 passed by the Government of Orissa, by maintaining social distancing and wearing mask. An additional prayer has been made that the Chariots/Car of Lords may be allowed to be pulled only by the heavy duty machineries rather than the men power.
(3.) We have heard learned counsel for petitioners, learned Advocate General and learned Counsel for the interveners.;
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