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Hon’ble High Court of Allahabad refused to grant permission to hold Muharram procession

The Hon’ble High court of Allahabad in Roshan Khan & Ors. V. State of U.P [PIL No. 840 of 2020], refused to grant permission to hold Tazia procession. The Division bench comprising of Hon’ble Justice SK Gupta and Hon’ble Justice Shamim Ahmed observed that, “there is no doubt that the burial of the Taziyas at the burial ground is a solemn and important part of custom of Muharram. However, it is necessary to note that every locality/colony has Taziyas, besides various individual families, all of whom have to get to the burial ground, since the burial of Taziyas cannot be deputed but has to be done personally. There is no mechanism fathomable, by the means of which it can be ensured that all such persons be permitted to take the Taziyas to the burial ground in a single day, while avoiding the risk of transmission of the contagion or following basic rules of social distancing, which are an absolute necessity in these unprecedented times. Another important aspect of the matter is that no restriction can be placed only on certain groups or individuals while permitting the others, since that would clearly amount to forming a class within a class, which would be arbitrary and discriminatory.”

The Hon’ble Court highlighted the intensity of COIVD – 19 spread in the state and observed that “It may be noted that the Uttar Pradesh is the most populated State in the Country and is at the Stage of Community Transmission on account of which it has quickly reached the 4th spot amongst the States in the number of active cases, with each passing day, the highest number of cases being reported.” The Hon’ble court further expounded that “although the complete prohibition of practices which are essential to our religions is an extraordinary measure, it is very much in proportion to the unprecedented situation we are faced with, owing to the pandemic. The right to practise and propagate religion has been made subject to public order, morality and health, even under the Constitution of India.”

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