The Tamil Nadu government on Monday told the Supreme Court that there was no ban on holding prayer events and organising live screenings of the consecration ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Live Law reported.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta was hearing a petition filed by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Vinoj P Selvam alleging that the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government had banned special prayer events and live screenings of the temple consecration.

On Sunday, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had also alleged that no special prayer events are being allowed in temples managed by the state government’s Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department.

“They are threatening organisers that they will rip off pandals,” she wrote in a social media post. “Strongly condemn this anti-Hindu, hateful action.”

The state government had denied the allegation. “The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department has not imposed any limitations of devotees’ freedom to offer food, conduct poojas in the name of Shri Ram or provide prasad in Tamil Nadu temples,” PK Sekar Babu, the state’s minister of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments, said in a social media post.

On Monday, the Tamil Nadu government reiterated this in the Supreme Court and said that the petition was “politically motivated”.

The court asked the authorities to record reasons for allowing or rejecting requests to hold special prayers and live screenings of the inauguration ceremony in Ayodhya.

“We believe and trust that the authorities will act in accordance with the law and not on the basis of any oral instructions,” said the bench. “The authorities while examining the applications, if any, will proceed as per law and will give reasons for allowing/disallowing such applications.”

The court also noted that permission for religious processions and other ceremonies cannot be solely declined for the reason that a community is in the minority in a locality, according to Live Law.

Datta said that if such orders were implemented across the state, then “wherever there are minorities, they will never be able to hold prayer meetings”.

“You regulate it, do not reject on this reason,” the court said.

On Sunday, Sitharaman alleged that the Tamil Nadu Police were also stopping privately held temples from organising events commemorating the consecration. “They are threatening organisers that they will rip off pandals,” she wrote on social media. “Strongly condemn this anti-Hindu, hateful action.”

The finance minister alleged on Monday that the state government was claiming law and order issues to justify the alleged unofficial ban.

“There was no law and order issues on the day of Ayodhya verdict,” she said. “Not even the day when PM Narendra Modi laid the foundation, in any part of the country. The groundswell and the voluntary participation of people to celebrate Shri Ram in Tamil Nadu has rattled the anti-Hindu DMK.”

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