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Odisha HC refuses to intervene in Rath Yatra cordon pass issue

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, June 25:

The Odisha High Court on Wednesday refused to intervene in the matter of issuance of cordon passes for the annual Rath Yatra in Puri on Sunday,  saying it was too late in the day.

(source - eprahaar.com)
(source – eprahaar.com)

A  division bench of the High Court comprising Justice P K Mohanty and Justice B Mohanty observed that since only a few days were left for the festival, it would not be prudent on its part to intervene now.

The bench made the observation while conducting a hearing on a petition filed by Premananda Mohanty, an advocate from Puri, seeking a ban on the issue of cordon passes to anyone, as no devotee will be allowed to mount the chariots.

The petitioner stated that a lot of devotees were approaching Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) for cordon passes.

Cordon passes are normally issued to people who are on duty around the chariots  and this privilege should not be extended to people who have nothing to do with the proceedings, the petitioner had argued. The petition mentioned that the cordon passes are issued to politicians, bureaucrats and influential persons and their families although there is no legal provision for issue of such passes.

The High Court has however, issued notices to the state government and the SJTA to file their counter affidavits within two weeks and posted the matter for adjudication after the affidavits are submitted.