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Loudspeaker in mosques

The Allahabad High Court made a very significant observation on Wednesday regarding the use of loudspeakers in mosques


Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  8 May 2022 5:00 AM GMT

The Allahabad High Court made a very significant observation on Wednesday regarding the use of loudspeakers in mosques. While dismissing a petition filed by a person called Irfan of the Badaun district in Uttar Pradesh, the High Court said that the use of loudspeakers in mosques is not protected by fundamental rights. The petitioner had prayed for quashing an order issued by the sub-divisional magistrate of Bisauli in December 2021 which had rejected a request to use a loudspeaker in a mosque for giving azaan or call to prayer. The High Court, while dismissing the petition, said, "The law has now been settled that the use of loudspeakers from mosques is not a fundamental right." It also said that the petition was patently misconceived and was hence dismissed. It may be mentioned that the sub-divisional magistrate of Bisauli had in December 2021 refused permission to install a loudspeaker at the Noori Masjid in Dhoranpur village for 'azaan'. Objecting this, the petitioner had said that the sub-divisional magistrate's order was "illegal" and that it "violates fundamental rights and legal rights". It is also worth recalling that in May 2020, the Allahabad High Court had held that though 'azaan' might be an essential and integral part of Islam, giving the call to prayer through the use of loudspeakers or other sound-amplifying devices could not be said to be an integral part of the religion warranting the protection of the fundamental rights enshrined in Article 25 of the Constitution, which is even otherwise subject to public order, morality or health and other provisions of Part III of the Constitution. The controversy over the use of loudspeakers at religious places sparked across several states, including Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. It was only recently that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had stated that the sound from loudspeakers at religious places should not be heard outside the premises. Yogi had also said that loudspeakers can be used at religious places with the permission of appropriate authorities, but the sound must not come out of the premises and disturb other people. He had further said that the authorities in Uttar Pradesh would henceforth issue no new permits for use of loudspeakers. Following Yogi's statement, the volume of loudspeakers at as many as 17,000 religious sites in the state was reportedly lowered to the standards set for all the religious places, including temples and mosques in the state. It is also important to note that a division bench of Allahabad High Court in its order in May 2020 had said that the call to prayer could be given from the mosque minarets by using a loud human voice, without the help of any amplifying device.

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