Indore: Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court on Friday rejected a demand for imposing a ban on huge gatherings at Bhagoria Haat festival in view of Covid-19 crisis but it directed the government to make elaborate arrangements to check spread of coronavirus at the fest.
A division bench comprising Justice Sujoy Paul and Justice Vivek Rusia gave the ruling while disposing of a petition filed by Gajanand Brahman through his advocate Hitesh Sharma. Citing a communication by Barwani collector wherein he had expressed his concern about the huge gathering which is going to take place in 'Bhagoria haat' during Covid-19 pandemic, the petitioner stated that it will not be proper to permit the people to gather at one place in such large numbers as it will enhance the risk of the pandemic. The petitioner has prayed for imposing a ban upon mass gathering in Bhagoria haat, which is going to take place from March 22, and appropriate direction for the safety of life and health of residents.
The petitioner placed reliance on the order passed by the Orissa High Court in a case and order of Kerala High in a case between Sivadasan Vs State of Kerala. By placing reliance on the order of the Supreme Court regarding Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra, the petitioner submitted that in public interest it is necessary to stop such a huge gathering. Upon receiving telephonic instructions, the additional advocate general Pushyamitra Bhargav submitted that the State will take all necessary steps as per the Covid-19 protocol to ensure social distancing, putting of mask by the participants and other necessary steps. After listening to both the parties, the Indore bench said, “In view of the relief claimed and the stand of the learned additional advocate general, we deem it proper to dispose of the petition by directing the government to take all necessary steps as per their stand mentioned herein above and as per the Covid-19 protocol issued by the Government of India and the Government of Madhya Pradesh.”