New Delhi: ‘Annual Rath Yatra can be held without public participation keeping in view the COVID19 pandemic’, the Centre told the Supreme Court on Monday.  More than a dozen petitions have been moved before the Supreme Court seeking recall of its order staying the historic Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra, which was scheduled for June 23. Also Read - Asia Cup Postponed to June 2021 Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

On June 18, the  top court had stayed the ‘Rath Yatra’ in Puri and all other places in Odisha in the wake of coronavirus, which has killed more than 13,000 people across the country. Also Read - Did You Know? Self-Isolation May Increase Susceptibility to COVID-19

Some petitioners had prayed to the Supreme Court that the yatra be allowed to take place and the three chariots maybe pulled by the servitors of Jagannath temple and police officials in Puri by adhering to the social distancing norms, according to the law department.

Earlier on Sunday, the Odisha government had said it will take favourable action as legally permissible when the writ petition on holding of Puri Rath Yatra will be taken up for hearing before the Supreme Court.

The statement of the government came a day after Puri Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb, who is also the chairman of temple managing committee, wrote to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik requesting that Rath Yatra in Puri may be held without congregation of devotees.