PILs in Orissa HC challenging closure of religious places in state

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Cuttack: The government’s decision to shutdown religious places has been challenged in Orissa High Court through two Public Interest Litigations (PILs).

The PILs were filed by Cuttack-based Jayanta Kumar Bal and Trilochan Rath of Puri. They have said that the state government’s decision is contrary to Unlock 3.0 guidelines issued by the Centre on July 29. Both petitions are expected to be taken up on Friday.

Demanding the quashing of the government notification, they sought a direction to open Jagannath Temple in Puri and other religious places by maintaining social distancing and wearing of mask.

They said in their petitions that keeping the Jagannath Temple and other places of worship closed for the public is illegal and unconstitutional.

Bal, in his petition, has argued that if shopping malls, gyms, and liquor shops could be opened then there is no reason why devotees of Lord Jagannath would not be given the opportunity to visit the temple.

Rath mentioned that the Supreme Court had directed Jharkhand and Central governments to open Baba Baidhyanath Jyotirlinga Temple at Deoghar and Baba Basukinath Temple for the general public.

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