"Considering the fact that no orders have been passed and only the petitioners are being restrained by means of oral communication, it is clear that the rights of the petitioner enshrined under Article 19(1) read with Article 25 are being denied without any reasons whatsoever."
The Allahabad High Court on Monday granted permission for performing a Majlis (religious congregation) at the Waqaf Imambada Masjid, subject to Unlock-4 guidelines and ensuring social distancing norms.
The order passed by the Bench of Justices Shashi Kant Gupta and Pankaj Bhatia states,
"The mandate of article 19 is only subject to Article 19(2) in respect of the rights guaranteed under Article 19(1) and the rights guaranteed under Article 25 are subject to public order, morality and health, none of the conditions are present enabling the State to deny the rights of the petitioner to hold the Majlis, thus we have no hesitation in holding that the action of the State in not allowing the holding of the Majlis, that too without any orders being passed, is clearly arbitrary and without any authority of law."
The order was passed in a writ petition seeking permission to perform Majlis (usually performed for 10 odd days). In the present year the same was to be performed from 30th September, 2020 till the 9th October, 2020.
However, it was the case of the Petitioner that the state authorities were not permitting them to perform this religious congregation, in teeth of the Constitutional provisions.
It was pointed out that religious congregations upto 100 persons is permitted by the Central Government under Unlock-4 guidelines. Senior Advocate S. Farman Naqvi, on behalf of the Petitioner, argued,
"freedom granted under Article 19(1) can be curtailed/restricted only in the manner provided in Article 19 (2) of the Constitution of India whereas in the present case, no such law has been framed in pursuance to the provisions of Article 19(2) of the Constitution of India," Naqvi argued.
"even the rights under Article 25 are only subject to public order, morality and health whereas in the present case, the Unlock-4 Guidelines itself provide for congregation up to 100 persons in respect of the religious gathering, which makes it clear that there is no foundation or apprehension of any disturbance of any public order, morality or health."
The Court was also informed that no written communication/order was passed by the authorities and permission was denied orally.
In view thereof, the Court observed,
It has now directed the state authorities "not to create any hindrance in holding of the Majlis by the petitioner subject to of-course the petitioner ensuring the compliance of the 'Unlock-4 Guidelines' and also ensuring the maintenance of social distancing norms and the other restrictions like wearing of Masks and Sanitization, etc."
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