Kanwar Yatra 2021: Supreme Court Asks Uttar Pradesh to Reconsider Its Stand to Hold Yatra, Says ‘Right To Life Paramount’
"It concerns all of us & is at the heart of the fundamental right to life. The health of citizens of India & right to life is paramount, all other sentiments whether being religious is subservient to this basic fundamental right," the Supreme Court said.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh to reconsider its decision on allowing Kanwar Yatra 2021, observing that the “health of citizens of India and right to life is paramount”. A bench of Justices RF Nariman and B R Gavai said that it is of the prima face view that all kinds of sentiments are subservient to Article 21 of the Constitution. The Court asked the Uttar Pradesh government to apprise the court about its decision on Monday, otherwise, it will pass an order.
“It concerns all of us & is at the heart of the fundamental right to life. The health of citizens of India & right to life is paramount, all other sentiments whether being religious is subservient to this basic fundamental right,” the Supreme Court said.
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It said the “Uttar Pradesh government cannot be allowed to hold Kanwar Yatra in view of Covid”.
The top court’s direction came after the Uttar Pradesh government told the bench that it has decided after relevant discussions to hold a “symbolic” Kanwar Yatra with appropriate Covid restrictions.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta for the Centre told the top court that states shall not be allowed to hold Kanwar Yatra in view of Covid and arrangements for Ganga water should be made by tankers at specified places.
The counsel for Uttarakhand told the top court that it has by its notification has decided to ban Kanwar Yatra for this year due to COVID-19.
On July 14, the top court had had taken suo motu cognisance of media reports on the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to allow ”Kanwar Yatra” amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and sought responses from the state as well as the Centre “given the disparate political voices” on the matter.
The fortnight-long yatra which begins with the onset of the month of Shravan by the Hindu calendar goes on till the first week of August and sees a large gathering of Kanwariyas in Haridwar from neighbouring states including Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi to collect the holy waters of the Ganga.
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