The National Green Tribunal (NGT), has reportedly directed the Kejriwal led Delhi government to inspect the mosques in East Delhi to check if the noise levels generated during the daily Azaan were exceeding the permissible limit.
This direction given by a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, also directed the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and the AAP government to take appropriate action against the Mosques if they are found guilty.
This direction, was a result of a petition filed by an NGO named Akhand Bharat Morcha with the tribunal alleging that the illegal use of the loudspeakers by the Mosques were adversely affecting the health of nearby residents. The plea had alleged that some of the Mosques were violating the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000.
The plea further claimed that some of these violating mosques were even located in silent zones, near schools and hospitals. It also claimed that the residents of the area had complained to the authorities about the noise but no action was taken. Thus the petition also asked the tribunal to direct the police for ensuring that no noise pollution is caused by the respondent mosques.
The counsel for various Mosques on the other hand claimed that they were using the loudspeakers, without exceeding the prescribed parameters. They also claimed that they had no intention to disturb the public or violate the norms.
The counsel for the National Capital Territory of Delhi and the DPCC submitted that they would be conducting inspections to check the noise levels of the Mosques mentioned in the petition, to check the ambient air quality and noise levels. The also claimed that action would be taken if violations are found.
Use of loudspeakers by Mosques has always been a hotly debated topic in the country. Recently Sonu Nigam was viciously attacked by the radicals after he complained about early morning Azaan being played by mosques near his Mumbai home. Some Muslim leaders were so offended by his statements that they even announced a Rs 51 crore bounty on his head.
A similar barrages of abuses were also meted out to actress Suchitra Krishnamoorth after she too complained about “ear shattering” Azaan near her home at about 4:45 AM.