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Allahabad HC junks petition by Irfan seeking permission for Azaan on loudspeakers in the mosque, says ‘not a fundamental right’: Read full details

The petitioner alleged that the rejection of permission to play Azaan on the loudspeaker was 'illegal' and violative of his fundamental rights. After hearing his counsel, the Allahabad High Court observed that the use of loudspeakers from mosques is not a fundamental right.

On Wednesday (May 4), the Allahabad High Court dismissed a writ petition filed by one Irfan, wherein he sought permission for using loudspeakers from the premises of the mosque to play the Azaan (Islamic call for prayer). He was represented in court by advocate Sachin Kumar Sharma.

Irfan filed an application on August 20 last year, seeking permission to play Azaan on loudspeaker from Noori Masjid. The said mosque is located in Dhoranpur village in Bisauli Tehsil in the Budaun district of Uttar Pradesh.

However, his application was turned down in a rejection letter/order dated December 3, 2021, by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM). Aggrieved by the order, Irfan had moved Allahabad High Court. The matter came up for hearing before a 2-Judge Bench of Justices Vivek Kumar Birla and Vikas Bhudhwar.

The petitioner alleged that the rejection of permission to play Azaan on the loudspeaker was ‘illegal’ and violative of his fundamental rights. After hearing his counsel, the Allahabad High Court observed that the use of loudspeakers from mosques is not a fundamental right.

“The law has now been settled that use of loudspeaker from the mosque is not a fundamental right. Ever otherwise a cogent reason has been assigned in the impugned order. Accordingly, we find that the present petition is patently misconceived, hence the same is dismissed,” the Judges ruled.

Reciting Azaan over loudspeaker not a necessary part of Islam: Allahabad HC

Earlier in May 2020, the Allahabad High Court held that while reciting Azaan by a Muezzin from a Masjid is integral to Islam, the use of amplifying devices such as loudspeakers did not constitute essential practice.

The Court ruled that usage of such devices for ‘Islamic call to prayer’ was not protected under Article 25 (Right to Freedom of Religion) of the Indian Constitution. A Division Bench comprising Justices Shashi Kant Gupta and Ajit Kumar had observed that the use of amplifying devices is subject to public order, health, morality, and other provisions of Part III of the Indian Constitution.

The Court’s order came after Public Interest Litigations (PILs) were filed by MP Afzal Ansari, Congress leader Salman Khurshid, and Advocate S Wasim A Qadri, following the order of the District administration to restrict the recital of Azaan, amidst the Coronavirus lockdown.

UP Police remove over 11,000 loudspeakers

Last month, the Uttar Pradesh police removed over 11,000 loudspeakers from religious places across the state. The volume of 35,000 loudspeakers was reduced to the permissible levels as per the guidelines.

The action by the UP Police was taken based on the order of the Yogi Adityanath-led government wherein all districts were asked to comply with the UP Pollution Control Board’s guidelines on loudspeakers by April 30, 2022.

The maximum number of loudspeakers (2,395) was removed from Lucknow. Other cities that saw the maximum impact of the order were Gorakhpur (1,788), Varanasi (1,366), Meerut (1,204), Prayagraj (1,172) and Bareilly (1070). Lucknow topped in terms of reducing the volume of the loudspeakers (7,397) as well. Other prominent cities on the list included Bareilly (6,257), Meerut (5,976), Gorakhpur (5561) and Varanasi (2,417).

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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