FIR against two for using loudspeakers for Azaan in Mumbai

A pair of outdoor loudspeakers, used for the call to prayer, hanging on a tall minaret in Kashmir. [FPK File Photo/Mounis Bin Muzaffar Khan]

Mumbai: Police in Mumbai’s western suburbs of Bandra and Santacruz have registered two first information reports against two men on charges of sounding the azaan for early-morning prayers using loudspeakers before the stipulated time of 6 am.

Police in Mumbai has booked three people on charges of sounding the Azaan for early-morning prayers using loudspeakers before the stipulated time of 6 am. The incident took place in suburban areas of Bandra and Santacruz in Mumbai.

According to a PTI report, the first case was registered when the Nurani Mosque in Bandra West relayed a prayer at 5:15 am through a loudspeaker. The on-duty police constable who filed the complaint about hearing the azan before the permissible time said that the act was in violation of Supreme Court directives that ban noise pollution between 10 pm and 6 am.

Zakir Khan, a member of the mosque committee admitted having been informed by the police about the time during which the mosque is allowed to use loudspeakers.

However, Anwar Shah, the person responsible for prayers in the mosque, gave the call for prayers very early. As of now, he is booked under the Section 268 of the Indian Penal Code and Maharashtra Police Act for allegedly flouting the apex court’s guidelines as per Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000.

Similarly, a report from Hindustan Times said that a sub-inspector from Santacruz Police Station had filed a case against Arif Siddiqui and Imam Shoiab Shaikh, who had obtained permission for use of loudspeakers, but had violated the rule of no noise between 10 pm and 6 am.

“I heard the loudspeaker being used at 5:35 am, when on duty. I rushed to the Muslim Kabristan Masjid on the linking road in Santacruz (West) to find out the details,” the police officer was quoted as saying.

The Mumbai Police also filed a First Information Report (FIR) against Shoaib Shaikh, the mosque’s imam who sounded the call to prayer through a loudspeaker.

The two people from the Santacruz mosque were booked under Sections 188 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code and 131 (penalty), 33 (1) (power to make rules or regulation of traffic and for the preservation of order in a public place), 33 (1) (r) (iii) (using a loudspeaker in or near any public place) of the Maharashtra Police Act.


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