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SC disposes off Kanwar Yatra cases after UP government informs Kanwar Sanghs call off religious event

The Supreme Court on Monday closed the suo moto matter regarding the Kanwar Yatra, after the Uttar Pradesh government apprised the apex court that various Kanwar Sanghs have mutually decided to call off the annual religious event.

The bench of Justices R F Nariman and B R Gavai said, “Considering that the pattern of last year is to be followed by Uttar Pradesh, in which it is clear that the ‘Kanwar Sanghs’ of the various districts have given in writing their consent that, in view of the health and safety of the public, the Kanwar yatra will be postponed this year also, it is necessary now to close this matter.”

The apex court was also informed that the age-old custom of ‘Jalabhishek’ considering religious sentiments will be performed in a traditional manner locally adhering to the Covid-19 protocols ensuring social distancing.

The bench highlighted its July 16 order, in which it had stated that the health of the citizenry of India and their right to “life” are paramount and all other sentiments, albeit religious, are subservient to this most basic fundamental right.

Last week, the apex court had taken suo motu cognisance of earlier media reports on the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to allow Kanwar Yatra amid the pandemic.

Following this, the state government had instructed the administration to establish communication with the Kanwar associations so that the right decision can be taken regarding the organization of the Yatra.

Last year also, the Kanwar Sanghs had suspended the yatra.

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