The Tamil Nadu government, on Monday, January 29, apprised the Supreme Court that it allowed a total of 252 applications seeking permission to organise religious events in the state on the occasion of Ayodhya Ram temple inauguration. A bench, headed by Justice Sanjiv Khanna, was apprised by senior advocate Amit Anand Tiwari, appearing on behalf of the state government, that permission was not given in 36 instances due to law and order issues.
"Milords may record my statement that they applied at 282 places for different pooja, procession, etc. and out of which we permitted at 252 places," he said. Tiwari added that the Madras High Court, including the Madurai bench, is also dealing with the issue.
In a short hearing, the bench, also comprising Justice Dipankar Datta, allowed time to the state government for filing its reply in the matter and adjourned the hearing. "File a short affidavit. We will see," it said, fixing the matter for hearing after a period of 15 days.
On January 22, the top court slammed the state government for denying permission to conduct Annadanam (special almsgiving) on the occasion of the Ram Temple inauguration ceremony on the ground of “lower number of Hindu residents” in a village predominantly inhabited by Christians.
Issuing notice on the plea alleging that the DMK-led state government has banned live telecast of Ram Temple 'Pran Pratishtha' ceremony in all the temples across Tamil Nadu and has also banned all kind of poojas, annadanam (feeding of poor) and bhajans on the occasion, the Supreme Court ordered the authorities to decide the applications seeking permission in accordance with law and to record reasons, in cases of rejection.
"The authorities will also maintain data with regard to the applications received and the reasons given for allowing and disallowing such applications," it said. Further, the Supreme Court had recorded the oral statement given by the Additional Advocate General that there was no ban on live telecast and organisation of any religious rituals on the occasion of 'Pran Pratishtha'.