Recently Allahabad High Court in Afzal Ansari & Ors. vs State of UP & Ors., placed reliance
on Church of God (Full Gospel) in India v. KKR Majestic Colony Welfare Association &
Ors., 2000, whereby the Supreme Court held that the rights under Articles 25 and
26 of the Constitution are subject to public order, morality and health.
No loudspeaker/ public address system/ sound producing instrument/ equipment or amplifier
can be used in public place without the permission of the authority concerned under Rule 5 of
the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000. The Petitioners had argued that it is an essential part of their religious practice and it has become necessary with the increasing
population to give call to the people on amplifiers and loudspeakers to come and pray. Reliance was placed on Acharaya Maharajshri Narandraprasadji Anandprasadji Maharaj v. State of Gujarat, 1975 in which the court noted that the area where the mosques in question were located possessed mixed population of Hindus and Muslims and
on previous occasions, dispute on this score had taken a serious turn there. Thus, if any party
was allowed to use sound amplifiers, tension between the two groups was likely to escalate. It
thus held that the authorities had rightly declined permission as use of loudspeakers,
particularly in that area was likely to cause animosity between the two religious groups of the
village, creating law and order situation.In Noise Pollution (V), IN RE, 2005, wherein the Apex Court expressed opinion that the fundamental right of a person under Article 19 (1) of the Constitution of India of
freedom of speech and expression are not absolute and no one can claim fundamental right to
create noise by amplifying sound of his speech with the help of loudspeakers as every citizen
has a fundamental right to live in peace, comfort and quietness of his house.
It is universally acceptable today that noise adversely affects human health. It causes hearing
loss or deafness, high blood pressure, depression, fatigue and even annoyance. Excessive noise
has resulted in cardiac ailments, neurosis and nerves breakdown.
It is a cardinal principle of a exercise of equitable jurisdiction that the High Court in such
exercise should maintain social balance by interfering where necessary and refusing where it
is against social interest and public good.
In Church of God in India vs KKR Majestic Colony Welfare Association, and that of
various high courts, the court said azaan is indeed an essential part of the Muslim religion, but
the use of microphones is certainly not an integral part of azaan, The court held recital of Azan
is an integral part of Islam, subject to reasonable restrictions.