Puri Rath Yatra in Odisha: The Supreme Court will hear on Monday four petitions seeking modification of its earlier order of June 18 that stayed the ‘Rath Yatra’ in Puri and all other places in Odisha keeping in view the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. Also Read - Odisha News: SC Stays This Year's Puri Rath Yatra, Says 'Lord Jagannath Won't Forgive if we Allow'

Soon after the apex court stayed the historic Rath Yatra in Puri, a number of pleas were filed in the top court. Also Read - Rath Yatra 2020: Decision on Puri Rath Yatra Likely Today, No Procession Allowed in These Areas | Check List

Looking at the rising cases of coronavirus in Odisha, the Supreme Court had on June 18 stayed this year’s Puri Rath Yatra, which is otherwise attended by lakhs of devotees from across the world. Also Read - A Moment of Fulfilment For Me, Says Advani Who Was Arrested For His Rath Yatra

It was supposed to start from June 23. While staying the order, the top court bench had said that if it allows the Rath Yatra to happen at this time of pandemic, then ‘Lord Jagannath won’t forgive us’.

While hearing the matter last, a bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices Dineesh Maheshwari and A S Bopanna said that in the interest of public health and safety of citizens, this year’s Rath Yatra at Puri in Odisha can’t be allowed.

“Lord Jagannath won’t forgive us if we allow this year’s Rath Yatra to go on”, CJI Bobde said, adding that as such a huge gathering can’t take place during the pandemic.

The bench asked the Odisha government not to allow the yatra or pilgrimage procession and the related activities anywhere in the state to avoid the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

In the historic Rath Yatra, held over 10-12 days with lakhs of people participating, was scheduled for June 23, the ‘Bahuda Jatra’ (return car festival) was fixed for July 1.

Reacting to the order of the top court, a plea was on Friday filed in the Supreme Court seeking recall of its order staying this year’s historic Puri Rath Yatra. The plea said that the Rath Yatra has been performed since time immemorial and the sentiments of millions of devotees are attached to the same.

Apart from this, the Shree Jagannath Temple Managing Committee and the servitors of the 12th-century shrine urged the Odisha government late on Friday night to file a fresh application in the Supreme Court seeking modification of its order staying the annual chariot festival in Puri in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.