Declining permission to a statewide celebration of Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath in Odisha, with only exception to the Puri Jagannath temple, the Chief Justice on Tuesday revealed that he too has been waiting fervently to be part of the annual ritual, however, Covid-19 was still playing spoilsport.
In June, the Odisha government had said the Rath Yatra will be held on July 12 only in Puri following the guidelines issued by the top court, while banning it in all other places of the state.
A counsel appearing for a petitioner seeking the Rath Yatra at other places argued that Covid-19 situation is different now (number of cases have decreased).
The Chief Justice responded, nobody knows how Covid situation will be (in the future). The Chief Justice told petitioners, seeking the Rath Yatra in other places alongside Puri: "You want to pray to the God. You can do it from home. I also wanted to go to Puri but I couldn't in the last one and half years. This isn't the time".
Dismissing the petitions, Chief Justice N.V. Ramana observed: "Last year few people died, this year many people died (due to Covid). We hope God will allows us these rituals next year."
With inputs from IANS.