Gujarat HC Issues Notice On PIL Against Loudspeakers In Mosques
The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the state government and others on a PIL seeking a ban on the use of loudspeakers for call to prayer in mosques across Gujarat.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice Ashutosh Shastri issued notices, returnable on March 10, to the state government, the Gandhinagar district collector and the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) over the Public Interest Litigation (PIL).
Petitioner Dharmendra Prajapati said he had submitted a complaint to the local mamlatdar (a revenue department official) regarding the use of loudspeakers at a mosque near his residence in the state capital Gandhinagar, which caused "great inconvenience and disturbance".
The PIL states that the complaint was forwarded to the inspector of the police station concerned in the capital city, but no action had been taken on it so far.
The sound of loudspeakers at the said mosque causes "great disturbance to public at large," "creates noise pollution," is "very high and not bearable," and creates severe mental illness to elders and children, it claimed.
The PIL, filed through lawyer Dharmesh Gurjar, maintained the use of loudspeakers violated the petitioner's right enshrined under Article 25 of the Constitution subject to public order, morality and health.
It also cited rule 5 of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, which states that a loudspeaker or a public address system shall not be used except after obtaining written permission from the competent authority.
No such permission was obtained for the use of loudspeakers at the mosque, the petitioner maintained.
The petition said the right to live free from noise pollution is a fundamental principle and disturbing sleep amounts to "torture" and a violation of human rights.
The PIL sought the court's direction banning the use of loudspeakers in mosques all over Gujarat.
With PTI inputs