Uttarakhand withdraws Supreme Court petition on Char Dham Yatra

Express News Service

DEHRADUN: After the Uttarakhand High Court refused to intervene to allow Char Dham Yatra to go ahead, the state government has decided to withdraw its special leave petition (SLP) from the Supreme Court. 

The High Court refused to intervene citing that the matter was still pending before the Supreme Court.Earlier this week, advocate general made an oral request to the bench of the Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand High Court to allow Char Dham Yatra. 

“An application has been submitted in the honorable Supreme Court for withdrawl of the SLP,” said one of the lawyers from the state government’s legal team. The decision comes amid demands that the yatra, which provides livelihood to thousands of people in the hill state, be allowed to go ahead. 

The stakeholders include temple trusts, hotels, restaurants, chopper companies, tour guides, travel agents, owners of tourist vehicles and other businesses that cater to tourists. The yatra provides employment opportunities to more than 10,000 people, thereby forming an economic ecosystem which benefits the shrines as well as the areas around these shrines. 

The HC had banned the yatra earlier this year citing Covid-19 threat following which the state government had moved the SC against the order. The High Court, on June 28, stayed the state cabinet’s decision to start the yatra from July 1. More than 38 lakh pilgrims visited the shrines in 2019. In contrast, only 4.2 lakh visited in 2020.