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Ban on Mosque Loudspeakers: Green Tribunal issues notices to centre, others

Monday May 28, 2018 10:53 PM, & Agencies

Ban on Mosque Loudspeaker

New Delhi: A petition seeking ban on use of loudspeakers in mosques for allegedly causing noise pollution has been filed before the National Green Tribunal which on Monday sought response of the Centre and others.

A bench headed by acting NGT Chairperson Justice Jawad Rahim issued notices to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), police and others while seeking their replies before June 26. The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by NGO Akhand Bharat Morcha alleging that illegal use of loudspeakers at mosques adversely affected the health of residents living in their vicinity, according to PTI.

The plea, filed through advocate Rahul Raj Malik, had alleged that the activities of some mosques were in violation of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, adding that authorities have not taken any action despite several complaints.

The petition has claimed that these places of worship were located in silent zones housing schools and hospitals and noise from their loudspeakers surpassed the laid down decibel levels. It referred to the NGT's September 2017 order which directed the Delhi government and the DPCC to ensure that religious places in East Delhi strictly adhere to the guidelines on noise pollution, PTI reported Monday.

There is a difference of opinion about using loudspeakers for Azaan - call to prayers five times in a day, even among the Muslim community. Back in 2014, few Mumbai Muslims had expressed concerns over the rising misuse of loudspeakers from mosque minarets, some even suggesting that loudspeakers were actually defeating the purpose for which the muezzins call out to the faithful for mandatory prayers.

"Azaan is mandatory to namaz, not the use of loudspeakers. Azaan should be sonorous and easy on the ears. If loudspeakers are inconveniencing fellow citizens, I would say the mosques should remove them before the police take action," Dr Mohammad Ali Patankar said.

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