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The Odisha government on Sunday said it will take favourable action as legally permissible when the writ petition on the holding of Puri Rath Yatra is taken up for hearing before the Supreme Court.

The statement of the government came a day after Puri Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb, who is also the chairman of the temple managing committee, wrote to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik requesting that Rath Yatra in Puri may be held without a congregation of devotees.

“The state government will take favourable action as legally permissible on the request of Gajapati Maharaj when the writ petition W.P.(C) No. 571 of 2020 is taken up for hearing before the Hon’ble Supreme Court,” said a press statement of Law department.

It said that the stand of the state government in the hearing before the apex court was primarily related to thousands of Rath Yatras taking place all over the state.

These involve lakhs of people, and happen almost in every Gram Panchayat of the state, it added.

The state government is in line of fire from different quarters for not making enough efforts to convince the court to hold the annual festival without the presence of devotees in Puri.

The Supreme Court will hear on Monday four petitions seeking modification of its earlier order of June 18, which had stayed holding of Rath Yatra in Puri and other places in the state in view of the COVID-19 situation.

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