NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to entertain a petition filed by top Shia leader Syed Kalbe Jawad seeking permission to hold annual tazia processions during Muharram on August 30 across India, and said it would make the sect liable for being targeted for spreading Covid-19.
Appearing for Lucknow-based Jawad, who is Imam-e-Juma of Lucknow's Shahi Asafi Mosque, advocate Azim H Laskar told a bench headed by CJI S A Bobde that the community was ready to observe social distancing during the procession and any other restrictions, apart from strict adherence to other norms enforced during the pandemic.
Laskar cited the court's permission for the annual Rath Yatra festival in Puri as also the permission to open Jain temples in Mumbai for Paryushan Parv.
The bench said Puri Rath Yatra related to pulling of chariots from one place to another and it was permitted after the state government agreed to limit the number of people and conduct the festival under lockdown. It also justified the opening of Jain temples saying only five people at a time were permitted in the temples with a maximum of 250 people a day.
Dreading the prospect of huge crowds gathering at several places across India for Muharram processions, the CJI said, "We have dismissed petitions seeking Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in Chennai. If Muharram processions were to be confined to one place in India, we could have understood. Moreover, states are not a party to this petition.
"It is not possible to give general directions for the entire country on Muharram processions. Large gatherings will crRead More – Source