The Supreme Court of India today (27/08/2020) refused to grant permission for Muharram processions throughout the country citing that it would lead to chaos and targeting of a particular community amid the COVID 19 pandemic.
Advocate Azim H. Laskar appearing for prominent Shia cleric Syed Kalbe Jawad pointed out that the court had allowed devotees access to places of worship in other cases and permitted the procession of the Jagannath Puri Temple. To which CJI Bobde replied that “you are asking for vague direction for the whole community in the country. Jagannath Puri case was one specific case where Rath was to go from point A to point B. If it was one specific place we can assess the danger and pass orders”.
He also said that if we allow this, there will be chaos and one particular community will be targeted for spreading Covid19. We don’t want that. We, as a court ,cannot risk the health of all the people.
The bench also led by Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian told the petitioner Sipte Mohammad and Advocate Laskar that they may approach the Allahabad High Court when the latter asked whether the court would specifically grant permission for the procession to be held in Lucknow.