Orissa High Court seeks urgent govt reply on chariot impasse
Cuttack: The Orissa High Court on Thursday issued notice to the state government asking it to file its reply within 24 hours to a PIL which sought its intervention to resolve the impasse of people climbing chariots and touching deities during Rath Yatra at Puri.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice A K Goel and Justice A K Rath ordered the government counsels to get immediate instructions from the government and fixed the matter to be heard in the first hour on Friday.
An Angul-based advocate Bhabani Prasad Mishra had filed the PIL seeking directions to the state government to implement the decision of the Puri Shankaracharya, who for a blanket ban on unauthorised persons climbing the chariots and touching the deities during the Rath Yatra.
A similar petition was also filed by a Cuttack-based advocate Nishikant Mishra yesterday.
Mishra said in his petition that as per the Record-of-Rights prepared under the Puri Shri Jagannath Temple (Administration) Act of 1952, the Shankaracharya was the final arbiter in case of any dispute relating to rituals of the Lords.
The petitioner contended that allowing people to climb the chariots would risk the safety of the deities and pilgrims leading to possible terrorist acts.
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