No azaan on loudspeakers, only human voice allowed: Allahabad High Court

The court made the use of loudspeaker conditional saying that one could not use a loudspeaker for azaan without prior permission of district administration

Published: 15th May 2020 03:06 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th May 2020 07:55 PM   |  A+A-

azan, aazan

A Muezzin, person appointed to call Muslims to prayers, recites the aazan. (Photo|AFP)

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: In a major ruling, Allahabad High Court allowed azaan in mosques without using any amplifier or loudspeaker.

The court, while responding to a batch of PILs and letter petitions challenging the Ghazipur district administration’s restrictions on recital of azaan during COVID-19 lockdown, ruled on Friday that azaan could be recited by a muezzin from minarets of the mosques but without using loudspeakers.

Cancelling the order issued by Ghazipur district magistrate, the court added that such recitation by human voice could not be hindered under the pretext of violation of the guidelines issued by the state government to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The court made the use of loudspeaker conditional saying that one could not use a loudspeaker for azaan without prior permission of district administration in accordance with the law and norms of noise pollution.

Passing the order, the double judge bench, comprising Justice Shashi Kant Gupta and Justice Ajit Kumar said: “We are of the opinion that azaan may be an essential and integral part of Islam but its recitation through loud¬speakers or other sound-amplifying devices cannot be said to be an integral part of the
religion warranting protection of the fundamental right enshrined under Article 25, which is even otherwise subject to public order, morality or health and to other provisions in part III of the Constitution.”

The bench added: “It cannot be said that a citizen should be coerced to hear anything which he does not like or which he does not require since it amounts to taking away the fundamental right of other persons.”

The PILs were filed by former Union Law Minister Salman Khursheed and senior advocate S Wasim A Qadri besides, BSP MP Afzal Ansari. “Unless and until there is a licence permission from the authorities concerned under the noise pollution rules, under no circumstances, azaan can be recited through any sound-amplifying devices. In case azaan is being recited through aforesaid means, it will be violative of provisions contained under the Noise Pollution Rules and strict action is liable to be taken against the persons violating such rules.”

The Bench, however, kept it open for the petitioner to approach the district administration for permission to use the loudspeaker for azaan. The petitioners had contended that there was no specific order in the central or state government guidelines to prohibit the recitation of azaan from the mosques. Therefore, the arbitrary decision taken by the district administration of Ghazipur to ban the prayer was illegal.

The state government’s contention, the petitioner argued, was that religious activity of any group through loudspeaker was restricted in the entire state in the wake of lockdown guidelines. Further, according to the state government, the Ghazipur district has been declared as a hotspot area. Since azaan was a call for prayer on loudspeaker, hence it was restricted in Ghazipur.

The state government, in its affidavit, had also submitted a list of instances which were filed disclosing how people assembled in mosques in Ghazipur following a call through azaan and administration had a tough time to control the situation.

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  • Khaled

    In this one sided judgement i have not seen any ban on ganesh festival pandals which has huge loudspeakers 24/7 for 11 days nor i have seen any ban on diwali crackers which has noise and air pollution. And no restrictions to any temples using loudspeakers. Oh i got it the rules & regulations is only to the Muslims in india. Good going india. We have faith in Allah he will grant us freedom.
    7 days ago reply
  • Soniya

    I think bhajan is also spreading noise pollution too........we vave no mosque in our area bt have mandir nd every single morning they play bhajan's on loudspeakers and spoiled my sleep......banned them.....
    8 days ago reply

      That goes without saying. Why can't you complain and get it stopped/closed?
      8 days ago reply
  • Baig

    it hinders development of India and its economy.. right move by the government of Uttar Pradesh.. Very intellect decision.
    9 days ago reply
  • K P Bhattacharyya

    It's very irritating to hear repeated noises throughout the day. Neither neccessary for me or neither very pleasant for me. I hope this abysmal practice is put out as it's a nuisance throughout the year.
    9 days ago reply
    • khatri

      Bhajans are way more unpleasant & irritating!!!! Stop that first...because they’re way way longer than azaan.
      8 days ago reply
  • Indian

    Is this also applicable at other parts of India ? Freedom of Religion is right in india. But
    9 days ago reply
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