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Chief Justice of India Chandrachud says Hathras stampede case ordered to be listed for judicial hearing

Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, during oral mentioning on July 9, informed in the Supreme Court that the Hathras stampede deaths case has been listed for judicial hearing.

“I had yesterday ordered the Hathras matter to be listed,” the Chief Justice said.

A writ petition was filed in the Supreme Court on July 3 to appoint a five-member expert committee under the supervision of a retired Supreme Court judge to inquire into the Hathras stampede which has seen over 121 deaths.

The petition filed by advocate Vishal Tiwari also asked the court to lay down safety guidelines for mass meetings and public gatherings.

The incident had happened during a prayer meeting held by a self-styled godman, Narayan Saakar Hari, in Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh. The event had drawn a large crowd.

“Several questions brew up from this horrific incident of stampede thereby questioning the duty and lapse of State Government and Municipal Corporations. Apart from the failure of maintaining and administering the supervision, the authorities have also failed in controlling the crowd gathered for the event,” the petition has submitted.

It has urged the court to direct the Uttar Pradesh government to submit a status report and initiate legal action against those who had acted negligently about the safety and crowd control measures.

“States should issue guidelines to prevent stampedes for the safety of the public attending such religious or other events in large numbers. States should submit reports on medical facilities available at various levels to deal with such stampede or other incidents,” the petition has noted.

The petition has also referred to past incidents which have claimed lives like the Kumbh Mela stampede of 1954 which saw the deaths of 800 people, the Mecca Masjid stampede of 2007 where 16 were reported dead, the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine deaths in 2022, the deaths during Dussehra celebrations at the Gandhi Maidan in Patna in 2014 and the death of around 104 Sabarimala devotees at Pulmedu in Idukki.

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