Allahabad High Court Allows Azaan From Mosques Citing Religious Freedom

The Allahabad High Court on May 15, 2020, allowed Azaan from mosques. While doing so, the Court did not permit the use of loudspeakers. The bench comprising Justice Shashikant Gupta and Justice Ajit Kumar gave this ruling on separate petitions filed by; BSP MP Afzal Ansari and Syed Mohd Faizal of Farrukhabad. The petitions came up in response to the police orders; which instructed Imams to not conduct azaan using loudspeakers following the order by the District Magistrate of Ghazipur.

The Allahabad High Court struck off the state government’s contention that Azaan recitation by human voice was violative of any provision of law; and that this is directly related to the religious freedom of Muslim community. The court held that ‘Azaan’ remains an integral part of Islam, but not the use of loudspeakers.

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. The court clarified that only such mosques that have permission to use loudspeakers; can use them and that too while following noise pollution norms. The court also asked the chief secretary; to inform all district magistrates of the order accordingly.