SC denies permission to carry out Muharram processions across country

A bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian said allowing it would lead to chaos and targeting of a particular community

The Supreme Court refused to give permission to carry out the Muharram procession across India this year. File photo: PTI

The Supreme Court on Thursday (August 27) denied permission for carrying out Muharram processions across the country and asked the Lucknow-based petitioner to move before the Allahabad High Court with his plea.

The apex court asked, “How can we pass a general order for the whole country?”

A bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian said it would lead to chaos and targeting of a particular community.

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“You are asking for a general order and then if we allow this there will be chaos. Particular community will be targetted for spreading COVID. We don’t want that. We, as a court, cannot risk the health of all the people,” the bench, which heard the matter through video conferencing, said.

The apex court was hearing a PIL was filed by Shia leader Syed Kalbe Jawad.

The petitioner had cited the concessions given by the top court earlier this month to the Jain community to worship at three of their temples in Mumbai for the last two days of the Paryushan festival.

Jawad also pointed out a similar instance where permission was given by the court to hold the Rath Yatra in Puri.

The bench, however, explained that in the case of the Jain community and the Rath Yatra, they could assess the level of risk since the events were taking place at one particular location. “You are seeking directions for the entire country,” the bench countered.

The apex court bench added that if the request was made for one place, it could be considered.

The bench also allowed the petitioner to withdraw the petition with the liberty to approach the high court to hold a procession with limited prayer in Lucknow.

(With inputs from agencies)

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