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SC to hear petitions against its stay order on Rath Yatra on Monday

Bhubaneswar: The Supreme Court of India will finally hear modification applications against its earlier decision on Rath Yatra on Monday. Multiple petitions against the apex court’s stay order on Rath Yatra have been listed for hearing in the court at 11 am on Monday.
The single-judge bench of Justice S Rabindra Bhatt will hear the petitions at Virtual Court Number 3, through video conferencing.
As per reports, as many as 17 petitions have so far been filed seeking permission for the conduct of the scheduled annual sojourn of Lord Jagannath and his sibling deities in Puri on June 23 which was cancelled by an interim judgement pronounced by a three-member panel comprising the Chief Justice of Supreme Court.
On the other hand, SC lawyer Sarthak Nayak said that a single-bench judge can’t modify the verdict of a three-bench. “After tomorrow’s hearing, it will be decided whether the matter is good enough to be put into the larger bench. In case, the hearing is done and the court feels that certain modification is necessary, the stand of State government will become crucial as it has not filed any review or modification petition.”
Another SC lawyer Pranoy Mohapatra said that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has been left in dark about the entire matter and a few subordinates of him submitted wrong information before the top court which has led to the stay order on Rath Yatra.
“Once we are allowed by the single-bench judge, we will request the SC for hearing the matter by a three-bench judge on Monday night only. The responsibility of conducting Rath Yatra is dependent on Odisha government and if it is unable to conduct the festival, the government should handover the responsibility to the Gajapati Maharaj,” said Mohapatra.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde had on Thursday said that in the interest of public health and safety of citizens amid COVID pandemic, this year’s Rath Yatra in Puri cannot be allowed.

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