Wednesday, April 24, 2024

‘Azan’ don’t violate rights of other faiths under Article 25: Karnataka HC

Karnataka High Court on Monday disposed of a Public Interest Litigation alleging that the contents of Azan (call for prayers in Islam) hurt the sentiments of believers of other faiths.

Observing that Article 25 and 26 of the Constitution embodies the principle of “religious tolerance” which is a characteristic of Indian civilization.

Petitioner Chandrashekar R submitted that though Azan is an ‘essential religious practice’ of Muslims, the phrase “Allahu Akbar” [Allah is the greatest] affects the religious beliefs of others.

He sought direction from the authorities to stop mosques/ masjids in the state from using the contents of the Azaan through loudspeakers, reports LiveLaw.

The plea also contained mention of other words from the call for prayer, however, the bench dissuaded the petitioner’s counsel from reading it.

“Do not violate your own fundamental rights, you have said by hearing these words your right is violated so why should you read it,” the bench told the petitioner’s counsel.

The court directed the authorities to ensure that loudspeakers and PA system and sound producing instruments and other musical instruments shall not be permitted to be used above the permissible decibel from 10 pm to 6 am.

Article 25 (1) of the Constitution of India, confers the Fundamental Rights on all persons to freely profess, practise and propagate their own religion.

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