No Loudspeakers for Azan: Allahabad HC

The Allahabad High Court, on Friday, held that azan or the call for prayer is an integral part of Islam and directed the UP government not to hinder its rendition as it does not violate the lockdown guidelines. The HC, however, said that using loudspeakers for azan is “inessential” and no sound amplifying devices can be used between 10 pm and 6 am.

“Azan can be recited by the Muezzin from minarets of mosques by human voice without using any amplifying device and such recitation cannot be hindered with under the pretext of violation of the guidelines issued by the state, to contain the pandemic Covid-19,” the HC said in its order. It said the use of loudspeakers is not necessary to make azan effective. It also infringes on the fundamental rights of citizens under Article 19 (1)(a) –– “No one has got the right to make other persons captive listeners,” it said. The HC was listening to a public interest litigation filed by Afzal Ansari, the BSP MP from Ghazipur. Ansari had pleaded that on the eve of Ramzan –– the local administration in Ghazipur restrained all mosques in the district from azan rendition. He wrote to the chief justice for protection of the fundamental right to religion of the people of Ghazipur where the Muezzin should be allowed to recite azan from the mosque. Former Union minister for law and justice Salman Khushid had also approached the court with a similar plea for Muslims in Farrukhabad, Hathras and Ghazipur.

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