New Delhi [India], June 17 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the authorities concerned to consider as a representation the PIL seeking directions to prohibit all devotees above the age of 60 years, particularly those with co-morbidities, from undertaking the Kanwar Yatra this year in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A division bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan, while refused to pass any directions on the matter, told the authorities to treat the PIL as representation and disposed of the plea.
The PIL, moved by a lawyer Subhash Vijayran, said that during Kanwar Yatra tens of millions of Kanwariyas walk hundreds of miles starting from Haridwar, Gaumukh and Gangotri in Uttarakhand and Sultanganj in Bihar to their residences carrying Ganga Jal on their shoulders.
It said that the COVID-19 pandemic has been most lethal for those over the age of 60 years and added that the people of this age group, though comprising just 10 per cent of the total population, has recorded more than 50 per cent of total COVID deaths.
The sheer number of pilgrims in the Kanwar Yatra ensures infinite social contacts among Kanwariyas and with the rest of the community - a very high-risk situation not only for the aged and co-morbid Kanwaryias but also for their family members and the community, the plea said.
The petitioner said that he was compelled to approach the court as his father, who sixty-six and a half and has been a chronic smoker with respiratory co-morbidities, is set to undertake the Kanwar Yatra from July 6, 2020, to July 19, 2020. (ANI)