Allahabad High Court bans Azaan from loudspeakers, says it ‘disturbs sleep’

Azaan is part of Islam but loudspeakers are not, says court

‘Using loudspeakers for Azaan an infringement on rights of others since it disturbs sleep’

The Allahabad High Court on Friday banned the use of loudspeakers for Azaan from the mosques. The court said that ‘azaan’ was a part of Islam but using loudspeakers were not a part of the religion, and only human voice can be allowed.

The Uttar Pradesh state government had told the court that even the recitation of Azaan by human voice was violative of law. However, the court shot down the state government’s contention.

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.

“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.


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