Police in Prayagraj has asked the district magistrate to ensure a ban on use of loudspeakers between 10 pm and 6 am, following a complaint filed by Allahabad University Vice-Chancellor Sangita Srivastava seeking restrictions on the use of loudspeakers early in the morning.
The ban includes the use of all loudspeakers and public address systems at public places in accordance with environmental laws and past court orders, reported India Today.
Inspector-General of Police, Prayagraj, KP Singh said that the officials must implement orders of the Supreme Court and the Allahabad High Court.
In her complaint, Sangita Srivastava had alleged that she is "forced to wake up too early every day" due to azan being recited on a loudspeaker.
Demanding action, Srivastava had said she is forced to wake up early because the azan call on the loudspeaker disturbs her. "This leads to headache throughout the day and impacts her work," she said.
She said the azan is played at 5.30 am through a loudspeaker installed at the mosque near her home.
Srivastava had sent her complaint to District Magistrate Bhanu Chandra Goswami on March 3.
In January 2020, the Allahabad High Court ruled that no religion promotes the use of loudspeaker for worship.
The high court had said, "No religion prescribes that prayers are required to be performed through voice amplifiers or by beating of drums. If there is such a practice, it should not adversely affect the rights of the others, including that of not being disturbed."
Delivering its order, the court cited a Supreme Court judgment from 2000 in which the court had ruled that the freedom to practice religion was subject to public order, morality and health.
Abiding by the order, the caretaker of Lal Masjid, Kaleem-ur-Rehman, said that the mosque committee took immediate steps after the police informed it about the complaint. "The volume of the system, which was already a decibel less than the norm set by the Court, has been further reduced by half," Rehman said.
The direction of one loudspeaker was changed so that it doesn't face Srivastava's home, Rehman added.
All India Muslim Personal Law Board member Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali, however, had criticised Srivastava's letter, saying she should be aware that people in India respected each other's religion.