Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court 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.
The bench comprising Justice Shashikant Gupta and Justice Ajit Kumar gave this ruling on separate petitions field by BSP MP Afzal Ansari and Syed Mohd Faizal of Farrukhabad.
The court said that using loudspeakers for ‘azaan’ was an infringement on the rights of others “since it disturbed their sleep”. The rights of one person must not infringe on the rights of others, the court observed.
“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,” the bench ruled.
“It cannot be said that a citizen should be coerced to hear anything which he does not like or which he does not require since it amounts to taking away the fundamental right of other persons,” the bench added.
The court allowed the ‘muezzin’ of the mosques to hold ‘azaan’ without loudspeakers.
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 court also asked the chief secretary to inform all district magistrates of the order accordingly.
It may be recalled that the district administration of Ghazipur had banned the use of loudspeakers for ‘azaan’ and BSP MP Afzal Ansari had written to the Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court Justice Govind Mathura in this regard. (With inputs from IANS)