The Allahabad High Court division bench comprising of Hon’ble Justices Pankaj Mithal and Vipin Chandra Dixit has recently dismissed a petition seeking to quash order of the Sub Divisional Magistrate, Shahganj, District Jaunpur on the use of amplifiers and loudspeakers in religious places on the grounds that such use of sound equipment is likely to cause animosity between the two religious groups of the village.
The High Court observed that, “People in India do not realise that noise in itself is a sort of pollution. They are not even fully conscious about its ill effect on health, though some concern is being shown to it in recent past. On the other hand, internationally, especially in the U.S.A., England and such other countries, people are very much conscious of noise pollution and as a matter of course do not even blow horns of their cars and honking is considered to be bad manners as it not only causes inconvenience to others but also pollutes the environment causing hazards to health.”.
The Court also observed that, “Any sound producing instrument/equipment or amplifier can be used in a public place without the permission of the authorities concerned.”
It was submitted by the petitioners that use of loudspeakers for 2 minutes, 5 times a day would neither cause noise pollution nor disturb the tranquility of the area, to which the court replied, “It is true that one can practice, profess and propagate religion as guaranteed under Article 25 (1) of the Constitution of India but the said right is not an absolute right. The right under Article 25 is subject to the wider Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution and thus both of them have to be read together and construed harmoniously.”
The court thereby refused to interfere in the matter stating that it may result in causing imbalance.