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Allahabad HC says loudspeaker at mosque not a fundamental right

LUCKNOW: Amid the ongoing controversy over the use of loudspeakers and sound amplifiers at places of worship across the country, the Allahabad High Court has dismissed a petition seeking permission for using loudspeakers from the premises of a mosque to play Azaan (Islamic call for prayer), observing that use of loudspeakers in mosques for Azaan was not a fundamental right.

The Allahabad High Court rejected the petition filed by one Irfan on May 4. He was represented in the court by advocate Sachin Kumar Sharma. The petitioner, a resident of Baduan district, had filed an application on August 20 last year seeking permission to play Azaan on loudspeaker from Noori Masjid. The said mosque is located in Dhoranpur village in Bisauli tehsil of Budaun district.

After his petition was rejected by the district court of Badaun on December 3, 2021, Irfan had moved the Allahabad High Court. The matter came up for hearing before a division bench comprising Justices Vivek Kumar Birla and Vikas Bhudhwar.

During the hearing, the plaintiff termed the rejection of plea seeking permission to play Azaan on the loudspeaker as ‘illegal’ and “violative” of his fundamental rights. After hearing the arguments, the high court bench observed: “The law has now been settled that use of loudspeaker from the mosque is not a fundamental right. Accordingly, we find that the present petition is patently misconceived, hence the same is dismissed.”

In May 2020 the Allahabad High Court had held that while reciting Azaan by a Muezzin from a Masjid was integral to Islam, the use of sound amplifiers, such as loudspeakers, did not constitute essential practice.

In compliance of an earlier order of the HC, the UP government has got 67,128 loudspeakers removed from places of worship and volume of 57,352 amplifiers lowered across the state as on Friday