HC refuses permission for procession to Lord Vitthal temple on Ashadhi EkadashiUpdated: Jul 01, 2020 01:11 IST
The Bombay high court (HC) has refused to grant any reliefs to the Warkari Seva Sangh which had petitioned the HC to permit 100 members to participate in a 6-km procession carrying the Sant Dyaneshwar palkhi bearing the padukas (footprints) of the saint, from the outskirts of Pandharpur in Solapur to the temple of Lord Vitthal.
The court held that in light of the pandemic and Covid-19 situation, the decision of the local administration and the mandir committee to cancel the annual procession on the festival of Ashadhi Ekadashi (July 1) and permit only 20 persons to accompany the palkhi on a state transport bus till the temple was sufficient.
The division bench of justice PB Varale and SP Tavade, while hearing the petition filed by Warkari Seva Sangh, Pune, through its president Kishore Kamathe and others, was informed by advocate Mihir Govilkar that the paduka bearing palkhi procession tradition had been unbroken since it began, irrespective of wars, famines, floods or droughts. Govilkar submitted that the sangh had written to the Pune divisional commissioner seeking permission for the procession on May 28, however, as the application was not responded to, the sangh had approached the HC.
The petition stated that the devotees were willing to maintain physical distance and follow other guidelines, including providing the list of devotees who would accompany the palkhi along with their Covid-19 test results.
In light of these submissions, the plea sought directions to the authorities to allow 100 devotees of the sangh to undertake the procession and also allow devotees to take a holy dip in the Chandrabhaga river on July 1 morning, to perform Nagar Pradakshina and other rituals for Ashadhi Ekadashi.
After hearing the submissions and perusing the details of the authorities concerned, regarding preparations for the festival, the bench held that the decision of the mandir committee and local authorities would suffice, and disposed of the petition.