The Supreme Court has stayed historic Puri Rath Yatra starting from June 23 and related activities due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

New Delhi, June 18:

The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the annual Rath Yatra at Puri’s Jagannath Temple on June 23 due to coronavirus pandemic, saying Lord Jagannath won’t forgive the court if they allow it.

Citing concerns over novel coronavirus pandemic, abench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices Dineesh Maheshwari and A S Bopanna said in the interest of public health and safety of citizens, this year’s Rath Yatra at Puri in Odisha can’t be allowed.

The Chief Justice said Lord Jagannath won’t forgive us if we allow this year’s Rath Yatra to go on, as such a huge gathering can’t take place during the pandemic.

The Supreme Court said such gatherings can’t take place at the time of the pandemic. All activities associated with the Rath Yatra have also been stopped by the Supreme Court.

The bench also told Odisha government not to allow the yatra or pilgrimage procession and related activities anywhere in the state to avoid spread of coronavirus.

The SC order on Thursday came on a PIL filed by Odisha-based NGO seeking cancellation or postponement of this year’s Rath Yatra, which continues for 10 to 12 days and is attended by millions of devotees from across the world.