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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Ram Mandir Consecration: SC directs TN Govt not to reject requests for live-streaming


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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Tamil Nadu Government not to summarily reject requests for live-streaming of the Ram Mandir Consecration Ceremony on the sole ground that other communities are living in the location.

A bench comprising Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Dipankar Datta was hearing a Public Interest petition (PIL) filed by senior Advocate Dama Seshadri Naidu in which he said that the Tamil Nadu government has banned the screening of the live telecast of the Ram Janam Bhoomi Consecration ceremony.

The bench while issuing notice to the state government directed that the permission cannot be denied on the sole ground that other communities are living in the location.

The Apex Court also asked the State to keep a record of the applications received for permission and assigning reasons for allowing/disallowing must be specified.

Senior Advocate Dama Seshadri Naidu appearing for the Tamil Nadu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said that the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party, “A political party hates religion. When the party comes to power it wants the government also to hate religion, it has banned live screenings and special poojas in connection with the Ram Mandir consecration ceremony. ”

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court that the LED screenings in the local temples are being stopped. Even private temples are not able to show the screening of the Pran Pratishtha ceremony.

The SG asked the Top Court to give the orders to allow the screening of the event. A message should go from the highest court of the land that the ban on such events is not permitted.

Tamil Nadu Additional Advocate General Senior Advocate Amit Anand Tiwari, however, denied the allegations and said that as per his knowledge, there were no such restrictions in the state.

Justice Khanna said we have asked the authorities to pass a speaking order while deciding applications. They are not to be rejected on the ground that A community is living or B community is living in a particular region. If there is any law and order situation, the application may be rejected. But not like this.

We will know exactly how many applications you have allowed, and how many have been rejected.”

Justice Datta also said that if such an order, banning religious processions and other ceremonies in areas inhabited primarily by members of one religion, were implemented across the state, then “wherever there are minorities, they will never be able to hold prayer meetings”. “The reason provided to ban screening in this order is that Hindus are in the minorities here, and if they are allowed to hold prayer meetings, that will cause problems in the society. Is this a reason?” Justice Datta asked.

The Bench said that the allegation made in the petition is that oral orders have been issued to ban live telecast, and performance of poojas, archanas, annadhanas , and bhajans on the occasion of Consecration Ceremony of Lord Ram at Ayodhya today.

The Court said that all rejection orders to livestream the event must show reasons and asked the state to maintain data.

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