Supreme Court gives ultimatum to UP Government on Kanwar Yatra

The Supreme Court on Friday gave an ultimatum to the Uttar Pradesh government, which had already expressed displeasure over the UP government’s decision to conduct the Kanwar yatra. It gave one last chance to the Yogi government to reconsider its decision.

Justice Nariman led the bench said,” The health of the people of the country, the right to life is very important.”  The bench, comprising Justice Rohinton F. Nariman, directed that the decision to hold the Kanwar Yatra be reconsidered or else the court itself would have to issue orders next Monday.

UP government advocate CS Vaidyanathan said the court’s opinion would be brought to the notice of the authorities and then reported to the court. He said the State Disaster Management Authority had consulted on the possibility of allowing the pilgrimage symbolically with strict restrictions and fewer devotees.  He also said the UP government feels that a complete ban on the Kanwar Yatra is inappropriate. On the other hand, a lawyer appearing for Uttarakhand told the court that his government had decided to ban the yatra altogether.

 The Central govt filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court stating that state governments must not permit the movement of Kanwariyas for bringing of ‘Ganga Jal’ from Haridwar. On behalf of the Central Government, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta was present.

The apex court took suo moto action after the recent decision by the UP government to allow the Kanwar yatra and it has issued a notice to the central, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand governments to comment on it.

As per the sources, the UP government may cancel Kanwar Yatra 2021.