The Supreme Court took suo moto cognisance of the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to allow ‘Kanwar Yatra’ amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The order in this matter has also been sent to the Chief Justice of India, NV Ramana.
A bench headed by Justice RF Nariman and comprising Justice BR Gavai has issued a notice to the Centre, the Uttarakhand government, and the Yogi Adityanath government, fixing the matter for hearing on Friday.
Taking cognisance of a news report stating the UP government is pressing ahead with the annual ritual of ‘Kanwar Yatra’ that sees a heavy movement of pilgrims across the states in the northern belt, the bench said: “We were a little disturbed given today’s headline.”
The top court emphasised that UP has chosen to continue with ‘Kanwar Yatra’ while Uttarakhand, with its hindsight of experience, has said that there will be no Yatra this time.
It also pointed at another news report, wherein Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his meeting with the chief ministers of northeastern states mentioned that “it’s up to us to stop it (the third wave of the pandemic) and we cannot compromise even a bit”.
The bench said: “Given the disparate political voices, all speaking at the same time, it is important that the relevant Secretary, Union of India, respond to this news report.”