Either reconsider decision to allow Kanwar Yatra or we will pass the order, SC tells UP govt
New Delhi, July 16: The Supreme Court on Friday said in categorical terms that the State of Uttar Pradesh cannot go ahead with its decision to allow the Kanwar Yatra in the state amid Covid-19 pandemic.
A bench headed by Justice RF Nariman asked the State of Uttar Pradesh to reconsider its decision to allow physical yatras and get back to the Court on Monday.
"Either we will pass orders directly, or will give you one more opportunity to reconsider your decision", Justice Nariman orally told Senior Advocate.
The apex court said it is of prima facie view that "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 had taken suo motu cognisance of the Uttar Pradesh government's decision to allow the yatra from July 25 amidst the Covid pandemic and sought responses from the state and the Centre.
Recently, neighbouring Uttarakhand had cancelled the yatra, citing the expected third Covid wave.
On Wednesday, a bench headed by Justice R F Nariman referred to a statement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that not even a bit of compromise can be made on COVID-19 containment and said citizens were perplexed about the happenings in view of the fact that the UP government has allowed the annual pilgrimage from July 25.
It also issued a notice to the Centre and the state governments of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand while posting the matter for hearing on Friday.