Mumbai: In a reprieve for the Sikh community, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court on Friday allowed the Nanded Gurudwara management to carry out its annual Guru Granth Sahib procession along with other rituals on Dussehra. The HC has however, asked the community to strictly abide by the norms of social distancing and other Covid19 guidelines.
The Takht Sachkhand Shri Hazur Apchalnagar Sahib Board, Nanded, had petitioned the HC after their representation was dismissed by the state disaster management cell.
A bench of Justices Sanjay Gangapurwalla and Shrikant Kulkarni has ordered the Gurudwara management to allow only 24 persons to participate in the procession festivities, of which 16 and 8 persons each would board two open trucks.
The judges have further ordered the management to ensure all those who board the trucks and participate in the procession undergo a Covid 19 test and "only those who are negative must be allowed to board the trucks," the court said.
The bench was moved by the management seeking permission to perform Takhat Isnan, Dipmala Mahalla, Gurta Gaddi Kirtan and Gurta-Gaddi Sampathi Kirtan Darbar Nagar Kirtan event at Nanded on Dussehra.
The judges noted that the event has a "history and tradition of around three centuries" and accordingly allowed the management to proceed with the festivities but with restrictions.
Accordingly, the judges ordered the management to carry one Palkhi Sahib with Guru Granth Sahib, sixteen historical Nishan Sahib, five horses of Guru Sahib, three Kirtan Jathe on two large open trucks.
A further directive has been issued to the authorities and the management to ensure no rules are flouted and the entire procession is videographed.