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"Using Loudspeakers In Mosque Not A Fundamental Right": Allahabad HC Dismisses Plea Seeking Nod To Play Azan On Loudspeakers

Sparsh Upadhyay
5 May 2022 4:38 PM GMT
Using Loudspeakers In Mosque Not A Fundamental Right: Allahabad HC Dismisses Plea Seeking Nod To Play Azan On Loudspeakers
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The Allahabad High Court has observed that the law has now been settled that the use of loudspeakers from mosques is not a fundamental right. The Bench of Justice Vivek Kumar Birla and Justice Vikas Budhwar said this while dealing with a writ plea filed by one Irfan.Essentially, Irfan had moved to the High Court feeling aggrieved by an order passed by SDM Tehsil Bisauli, District Budaun...

The Allahabad High Court has observed that the law has now been settled that the use of loudspeakers from mosques is not a fundamental right. The Bench of Justice Vivek Kumar Birla and Justice Vikas Budhwar said this while dealing with a writ plea filed by one Irfan.

Essentially, Irfan had moved to the High Court feeling aggrieved by an order passed by SDM Tehsil Bisauli, District Budaun rejecting his application seeking permission for playing loudspeaker/mike in a village Mosque at the time of azan.

Before the Court, he sought a direction to the Government authorities to grant him permission for playing loudspeaker/mike in the mosque (Noori Masjid). He also argued that the order passed by the SDM was wholly illegal and violated his fundamental and legal rights to run loudspeakers from the mosque.

However, the Court dismissed his plea by observing thus:

"The law has now been settled that use of loudspeaker from 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."

It may be noted that in May 2020, holding that recital of Azan is an integral part of the Islamic religion, the Allahabad High Court had allowed the Muezzins of various mosques in the state to recite the Azan, even amid lockdown. However, the court has made strict observations against the use of microphones for the same.

"Azan is certainly an essential and integral part of Islam but use of microphone and loud-speakers is not an essential and an integral part thereof...Azan can be recited by Muezzin from minarets of the Mosques by human voice without using any amplifying device and such recitation cannot be hindered with under the pretext of violation of the Guidelines issued by the State, to contain the pandemic- Covid19," the bench of Justices Shashi Kant Gupta and Ajit Kumar has held.

The observation was made in a batch of PILs and letter petitions filed before the High Court against alleged orders restricting the recital of Azan during the lockdown.

The Petitioners, MP Afzal Ansari, Former Union Law Minister, Senior Advocate Salman Khurshid, and Senior Advocate S. Wasim A. Qadri, had sought permission to recite Azan through "Muezzin", by using sound-amplifying devices.

Read more about the Allahabad HC's Judgment here: Allahabad HC Allows Recital OF Azan By Muezzin From Minarets Of Mosques Amid Lockdown Without Microphones

Importantly, earlier this year, the Allahabad High Court had dismissed a contempt plea filed regarding the usage of loudspeakers in the Temple as well as Mosque and observed that the same is a sponsored litigation so as to affect the communal harmony of the State keeping in mind the State Elections.

Essentially, the Bench of Justice Rohit Ranjan Agarwal was hearing a contempt plea filed by one Islamuddin against Rabindra Kumar Mander, D.M. Rampura alleging that he is willfully disobeying the order passed by the Allahabad High Court in a 2015 Public Interest Litigation (PIL) plea.

Essentially, in the case of Islamuddin v. State Of U.P. & 2 Others [PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION (PIL) No. - 20730 of 2015], the Allahabad High Court had directed the District Administration of Rampur and the Regional Pollution Control Board to ensure that there is no noise pollution by use of loudspeaker or any other device causing noise pollution beyond the prescribed standard in the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000.

Read more about HC's observations here: "Sponsored Litigation To Affect Communal Harmony During Polls": Allahabad HC Dismisses Contempt Plea Over Loudspeakers In Temple-Mosque

Recently, the Gujarat High Court has asked the State Government to clear its stand on the use of loudspeakers for azaan in mosques all over the State.

The Bench of Chief Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice Ashutosh J. Shastri was dealing with a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) plea filed seeking a direction to the state government to take appropriate measures for banning the use of loudspeakers in mosques all over the State.

Case title - Irfan v. State Of U.P. And 3 Others [WRIT - C No. - 12350 of 2022]

Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (AB) 230

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