New Delhi: In an important development over controversy surrounding azaan or call indicating time for namaaz, the Allahabad High Court on Friday allowed recitation of the call by only a single individual, however, prohibiting recital of the same using a loudspeaker during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown. Also Read - Watch | Pakistani-Canadian Woman Breaks Stereotypes By Her Rendition of 'Azaan', Invites Ire
Notably, the development comes in the wake of recital of azaan being banned by the Ghazipur district administration in Uttar Pradesh during the ongoing holy month of Ramzan which is being observed during the lockdown. Also Read - Ramzan 2020: After Delhi, Confusion Over 'Ban' on Azaan in Uttar Pradesh
The plea in the High Court was filed by BSP MP from Ghazipur, Afzal Ansari. Also Read - Ramzan 2020: Is Azaan Banned in Delhi? Here's The Truth
Hearing the petition, a two-judge bench of the court, including Justices Shashi Kant Gupta and Ajit Kumar, observed and concluded that the recitation of azaan by human voice cannot be hindered under the pretext of violation of the guidelines issued by the state government to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The bench, however, added that no citizen should be coerced to hear anything which he does not like or which he does not require since it amounts to taking away the fundamental right.
It then allowed recitation of azaan only by single individuals in mosques in Uttar Pradesh, also allowing the petitioner to approach the district administration for permission to use loudspeaker for azaan.
The court also directed that its order be sent to the state Chief Secretary so that it can be forwarded to all district magistrates to ensure its compliance.