SC stays off order on Muharram
The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to pass any directive to permit the annual Muharram processions this year across the country, saying it would “create chaos and a particular community will be targeted for spreading Covid-19”.
The bench of Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian rejected the petitioner’s contention that the Muharram processions should be allowed as the court had earlier permitted this year’s Rath Yatra in Puri and worship at two Jain temples in Maharashtra amid the pandemic.
Justice Bobde told the petitioner: “It is not possible to give general directions. It will create chaos and a particular community will be targeted for spreading Covid. We will not pass orders that could risk the health of so many people.”
The PIL had been filed by a Shia leader from Uttar Pradesh, Syed Kalbe Jawad, who wanted a directive to all the states and Union Territories to permit Muharram processions.
“You’re asking for vague directions for the whole country for this community. The Jagannath Puri case was one specific place where the rath was to go from point A to B. If it was for one specific place, we can assess the danger and pass orders. We cannot pass general orders,” CJI Bobde observed.
The Supreme Court allowed Jawad to approach Allahabad High Court for permission to observe Muharram in Lucknow.