In a recent development, the Gujarat High Court has rejected a public interest litigation that called for a ban on the use of loudspeakers for azaan, the Islamic call to prayer at mosques.
As reported by Financial Express, the court termed the plea as "wholly misconceived," emphasising the lack of scientific foundation for the claims made in the petition.
The petition, filed by Bajrang Dal leader Shaktisinh Zala, contended that the "noise pollution" caused by azaan through loudspeakers adversely affects people's health, especially children, and causes general inconvenience.
However, the high court highlighted the absence of scientific evidence supporting the claims, noting that azaan is conducted for a maximum of ten minutes at various times during the day.
The court questioned the notion that the human voice making the call through loudspeakers in the morning could reach decibel levels causing noise pollution and health hazards.
The bench stated, "We fail to understand how the human voice making azaan through loudspeaker in the morning could achieve the decibel (level) to the extent of creating noise pollution, causing health hazards for the public at large."
The court also drew a parallel with the morning aarti at temples, asking the petitioner's lawyer whether the noise from the aarti with drums and music starting early at 3 am in temples causes any disturbance.
In its final stance, the court clarified that it would not entertain this kind of petition, emphasising that the practice of azaan has been ongoing for years, and the duration is brief, lasting for 5-10 minutes.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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