Using loudspeakers in mosques not fundamental right: Allahabad HC
The Allahabad High Court has dismissed a petition seeking the installation of a loudspeaker in a mosque for "azaan," saying it's "not a fundamental right." A division bench observed, "The law says...it is not a constitutional right to use loudspeakers in mosques." The observation came on a petition filed by one Irfan against an order issued by the Bisauli Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Badaun district.
- The court's observation assumes importance as MNS chief Raj Thackeray stirred controversy in Maharashtra on using loudspeakers in mosques.
- He had called on "Hindu brothers" to play Hanuman Chalisa loudly if mosques continued to use loudspeakers.
- Moreover, in April, the Uttar Pradesh government ordered authorities to remove illegal loudspeakers from religious establishments. Permitted loudspeakers found violating noise limits would also be removed, it said.
Irfan filed a plea in August last year seeking permission for the recital of azaan on a loudspeaker at Noori Masjid in Dhoranpur village of Bisauli Tehsil in Uttar Pradesh's Budaun district. However, the SDM had in December 2021 denied permission to install a loudspeaker at the said mosque. The petitioner claimed the SDM's order was "illegal" and violated his "fundamental and legal rights."
"The law has now been settled that use of loudspeaker [at a] mosque is not a fundamental right. Accordingly, we find that the present petition is patently misconceived, hence the same is dismissed," the Allahabad High Court observed.
The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh government had issued an order dated April 25 in connection with the removal of illegal loudspeakers from religious establishments. Compliance reports in this regard were also sought from district divisional commissioners. The order also said no new permissions for loudspeakers would be issued. The CM had also ordered religious processions can't be organized without proper prior permission.
The UP Police later said the campaign against illegal loudspeakers and to ensure the volume of permitted devices was within the acceptable limits has been a huge success. The state government stressed the drive wasn't religiously motivated. Reportedly, loudspeaker volumes at Mathura Krishna Janamsthan and Gorakhnath Temple were also reduced. Notably, the largest temple and mosque in Badagaon town had removed their loudspeakers earlier.