Allahabad High Court allows azaan during COVID-19 lockdown; says azaan may be integral to Islam but use of loudspeakers isn’t


The Allahabad High Court on Friday allowed the Muslims’ call for prayers, known as azaan  during, but without using any loudspeaker during the COVID-19 lockdown.

While allowing Muslims to recite azaan during the COVID-19 lockdown, the high court bench comprising Justices Shashi Kant Guipta and Ajit Kumar saying that it was an essential and integral part of Islam. The bench, however, said that the use of loudspeakers âor other sound-amplifying devices could not be deemed as an integral part of the faith.

The high court bench gave it verdict after hearing a host of pleas filed by MP Afzal Ansari and former Union Minister Salman Khurshid among others. The judges said that they were of the ‘considered opinion that azaan can be recited by muezzin (person reciting azaan)  from minarets of the mosques by human voice without using any amplifying device and the administration is directed not to cause hindrance in the same on the pretext of the guidelines to contain the pandemic Covid¬19.

The ruling assumed significance in light of several complaints from across the BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh that cops were stopping Muslims to recite azaan from their local mosques on grounds that the action violated the lockdown norms.

A report by news agency PTI said that the bench said that even the right to profess one’s religion, guaranteed under which is a Fundamental Right enshrined under Article 25 of the Constitution, was subject to public order, morality or health and to other provisions of Part III of the Constitution of India.

Until and unless there is a license/permission from the authorities concerned under the Noise Pollution Rules, under no circumstances Azan can be recited through any sound amplifying devices. In case Azan is being recited through aforesaid means, it will be violative of provisions contained under the Noise Pollution Rules and strict action is liable to be taken against the persons violating such Rules, in accordance with law,” Livelaw website quoted the judgment.

The bench pointed out that even the petitioners had not prayed for the use of loudspeakers to recite azaan during the COVID-19 lockdown.