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Allahabad HC: OK to bar loudspeakers at 2 UP mosques | Allahabad News

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ALLAHABAD: Stating that no religion advocates the use of loudspeakers for worship, the Allahabad high court has declined to quash an administrative order barring the use of loudspeakers for azaan at two mosques in Baddopur and Shahganj villages of UP’s Jaunpur district.

“No religion prescribes that prayers are required to be performed through voice amplifiers or by beating of drums… If there is such a practice, it should not adversely affect rights of the others, including that of not being disturbed,” the division bench of Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice VC Dixit said while dismissing a petition filed by one Masroor Ahmad and a fellow resident of Jaunpur.

The bench harked back to a similar 2000 Supreme Court judgment- Church of God (Full Gospel) vs KKR Majestic Colony Welfare Association-where the apex court said that freedom to practice religion were subject to public order, morality and health.

The division bench dismissed the petitioners’ argument that using loudspeakers to call peo- ple out to join in the azaan at specific times was an essential part of their religion.

“The fundamental right to religious freedom under Article 25 (1) of the Constitution is not absolute. It is subject to Article 19(1)(a) (freedom of speech and expression), and thus both of them have to be read together,” judges said.

The petitioners had submitted an application in March last year, seeking permission to use loudspeakers.

The circle officer of Shahganjstated in his report that the areas in which these two mosques were located had a mixed population of Hindus and Muslims. The report said if any of these communities were allowed to use sound amplifiers, it could trigger a law-and-order problem.

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