Cuttack: The Orissa High Court on Thursday allowed the conduct of the annual nine-day Saradiya Rath Yatra associated with Goddess Biraja in Jajpur district while adhering to all the Covid-19 guidelines issued by the government.
This year, the Rath Yatra is scheduled to be held from October 17 to 25.
Hearing a total of 4 cases including two PILs filed by Mukti Mandapa Sevayat Parishad of Maa Biraja Temple and Jajpur district lawyers’ association, the court has asked Jajpur district administration to take a decision in this regard at the earliest.
The two petitioners had sought the High Court's direction for allowing the Rath Yatra in a subdued manner and in adherence to Covid-19 pandemic protocols issued by the State government.
In the argument before the High Court, the petitioners said that Maa Biraja is the only Goddess in the country to have her own chariot festival, which can only be held at her shrine during Durga Puja/Dussehra.
Earlier the government in its reply before the State's apex court had prayed that the latter may pass appropriate order as deem fit, balancing the right to religion and public health in the interest of justice.
It may be mentioned that the Supreme Court had granted permission for the conduct of Lord Jagannath's Rath Yatra this year in Puri alone after a prolonged legal battle.