The Inspector-General of Police, Prayagraj, has asked the district magistrate to ensure a ban on the use of loudspeakers between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. This is in response to a complaint filed by Allahabad University Vice-Chancellor Sangita Srivastava seeking restrictions on the use of loudspeakers in, early morning in mosques.
The ban will cover the use of all loudspeakers and public address systems at public places.
In a letter to the district magistrates and Senior Superintendents of Police in the four districts that fall under the Prayagraj Range, IG K.P. Singh said the officials must implement orders of the Supreme Court and the Allahabad High Court.
The letter directs the district magistrates and police chiefs to implement a ban on the use of loudspeakers between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. in accordance with environmental laws and past court orders.
In her complaint, Prof. Sangita Srivastava has stated that she is ‘forced to wake up too early every day’ due to ‘azaan’ being recited on a loudspeaker. This, she stated, leads to headaches throughout the day and impacts her work.
Sangita Srivastava had sent her complaint to District Magistrate Bhanu Chandra Goswami on March 3.
In January 2020, the Allahabad High Court had ruled that no religion advocates use of loudspeakers for worship.
The petitioner had challenged an administrative order in the Jaunpur district of Uttar Pradesh where the use of loudspeakers for azaan had been banned.
The high court had said, “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 the rights of others, including that of not being disturbed.”
Delivering its order, the high court cited a Supreme Court judgment from 2000 in which the court held that the freedom to practice religion was subject to public order, morality and health.
Prof. Sangita Srivastava had cited the court order in her letter.