Right to health and life
The Supreme Court, in its suo motu case against Uttar Pradesh government’s decision, observed that the religious sentiments are subservient to citizens’ Fundamental Right to health and life under Article 21 of Constitution of India.
In the instant suo notu case, In Re: Alarming Newspaper Report Regarding Kanwar Yatra in State of UP, the Supreme Court took up the issue upon reading a report published in the Indian Express regarding Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to allow Kanwar Yatra.
The court took up this suo motu case against Uttar Pradesh government’s decision of allowing Kanwar Yatra pilgrimage amid ongoing pandemic and rising alarms of third wave. The court observed that the State cannot go ahead with the decision of Kanwar Yatra, especially when the Central Government has taken a stand against it.
The court asked the Uttar Pradesh government to reconsider its decision. It further observed that fundamental right enshrined under Article 21 is the pride of Part III of the Constitution, and that health and life of citizens’ is of paramount importance.
The court also pointed out the unpredictable fear which looms over the citizens’ in disguise of third wave of the pandemic. The court further questioned the counsel whether the authorities would be in a position to reconsider their decision of allowing the yatra in all physical forms, given the compelling religious reasons.
The court also informed the counsel for the State of Uttar Pradesh that it had two options- either to directly pass orders or give the State another opportunity to reconsider its decision. The court explained the gravity of situation and stated that it took up this suo motu case to safeguard the citizens’ from the lethal disease.
The counsel for the State told the bench that a total ban on yatra would be impractical, so the State allowed it with limited number of devotees. However, the counsel for the Union reiterated the stand of Union that the yatra should not be allowed.
The court also recorded that the State government of Uttarakhand cancelled the Kanwar yatra amid the rising concerns of pandemic. Currently, the court has given an opportunity to Uttar Pradesh government to reconsider its decision.
Dayakar Arra – Advocate | Call: 8790587665
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