The Allahabad High Court has denied permission for using loud speakers for reciting Azaan (call for Muslims to pray) . The High Court made this ruling on Friday. A Division Bench comprising of Justice Shashi Kant Gupta and Justice Ajit Kumar of the High Court has observed that usage of such devices for ‘Islamic call to prayer’ is not protected under Article 25 (Right to Freedom of Religion) of the Indian Constitution.
“ We are of the opinion that azaan may be an essential and integral part of Islam but its recitation through loudspeakers 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. Therefore, until and unless there is a license/permission from the authorities concerned under the Noise Pollution Rules, under no circumstances, Azaan can be recited through any sound-amplifying devices”, said high Court.
The court made this order after a Public Interest Litigations (PILs) was filed by MP Afzal Ansari, Congress leader Salman Khurshid, and Advocate S Wasim A Qadri questioning the district authorities order to restrict the recital of Azaan, amidst the Coronavirus lockdown.
The #AllahabadHighCourt on Friday allowed 'azaan' from mosques but said that the use of loudspeakers could not be permitted. The court said that 'azaan' was a part of Islam but using loudspeakers were not a part of the religion.
Photo: IANS pic.twitter.com/oLuF8zv9uB
— IANS (@ians_india) May 15, 2020
However, the court shot down the state government’s contention that its recitation by human voice was violative of any provision of law. “The government had not been able to explain as to how the recitation of azaan merely through human voice can be violative of any provision of law or any guidelines issued in view of Covid-19 pandemic,” it said.
The HC Bench, however, kept it open for petitioner to approach the district administration for permission to use loudspeaker for azaan. It added that one can’t use loudspeakers for azaan or for any other purpose without prior permission of district administration
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