The Supreme Court on Thursday refused permission to the Shia Muslims to take out Tazia processions on Saturday and Sunday on the occasion of Muharram, pointing out that the community will again be accused of spreading coronavirus, as were those who participated in a Tablighi Jamaat congregation at Nizamuddin.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde rejected the plea by Shia cleric Syed Kalbe Jawad of Uttar Pradesh, noting that the processions at the time of the Covid-19 pandemic will create anarchy and the community will be unnecessarily blamed for it, if permission is granted.
The petition had cited the permission given to the Jagannath Rath Yatra in Puri. The CJI said the ‘yatra’ was restricted to one city and had a fixed route; the court had permitted the event after evaluating the risks, while the petitioner is seeking permission for Tazia processions all over the country.
The Bench, which included Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, told Jawad that the court cannot put health of the people at risk. "Had you sought permission for one place, we could have assessed the risk. Moreover, even the state governments are not in favour of such activity during the pandemic," the CJI said, suggesting that the concerned High Court may be approached if permission is sought for the procession in one city or town.