Supreme court has reverted the historical judgment of stalling the Ratha Yatra for the first time in history. The top court of India has allowed the Ratha Yatra to commence tomorrow in Puri with strict restrictions and regulations.
According to the Supreme Court order, only 500 people (including police officials, security staff) are allowed to pull three chariots. There should be a 1-hour gap between two chariots. Each of the devotees pulling the chariots has to maintain the social-distancing protocols during Ratha Yatra.
At the time of the chariot procession, the State Government has to declare a city-wide curfew.
Soon after the Supreme Court verdict, #RathaYatra became the top twitter trend. Devotees from around the world started to welcome the reversal of the earlier adjudication.
Naveen Patnaik, CM of Odisha, tweeted "Jai Jagannath!" welcoming the judgment of the top court.
Ratha Yatra is the procession of Lord Jagganath along with his sister Devi Suvadra and accompanied by his brother Lord Balaram in three separate multi-storied 'Raths' or chariots. Each year, millions of devotees congregate just in a wait to touch the rope of the chariots, at least for a moment.
As the pandemic is still ravaging through the country, the Supreme Court of India, in an earlier order, stayed a banning order on this famous procession for this year.
But, as this is a "matter of faith for Crores", the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Central government, has appealed to the Supreme Court, asking an exception to be made for the procession at Puri.
On Monday evening, Chief Justice of India, Sharad Arvind Bobde, notified that "The Supreme Court is only considering conducting the Rath Yatra in Puri and not anywhere else in Orissa.", over a video conference session with the appellant.
Home Minister Amit Shah, has tweeted "Today is a special day for all of us, particularly our Odia sisters and brothers as well as devotees of Mahaprabhu Shri Jagannath Ji. The entire nation is delighted by the decision of the Honourable Supreme Court to ensure the Rath Yatra goes on.
Odisha government has declared a total shutdown from 9 PM on Monday till 2 PM on Wednesday to arrange the Ratha Yatra ceremony without any involvement of any devotees.
No passengers or any private or public buses other than those carrying the police personnel will be allowed during the ceremony.