The use of loudspeakers in mosques is not a fundamental right, a division bench of the Allahabad High Court said, Live Law reported on Thursday.

The court made the observation in response to a petition by a resident of Uttar Pradesh’s Dhornapur village, Irfan, who sought permission to use a loudspeaker for the azaan, or the Muslim call for prayer. He had challenged an order of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of the Bisauli tehsil, which had not permitted the use a sound amplifier for the azaan.

Irfan had contended that the sub-divisional magistrate’s order violated his fundamental and legal rights, according to The Hindu.

A bench comprising Justices Vivek Kumar Birla and Vikas Budhwar, however, said that the petition was patently misconceived. “The law has now been settled that use of a loudspeaker from a mosque is not a fundamental right,” the High Court said on May 4. “Even otherwise, a cogent reason has been assigned in the impugned order.”

In May 2020, the High Court had observed that the azaan is integral to Islam, but not the use of loudspeakers. The court had allowed muezzins or persons who give calls to prayer, to recite the azaan amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown. However, it had not permitted the use of loudspeakers.

In April, the Uttar Pradesh Police carried out a drive to remove unauthorised loudspeakers from places of worship and to ensure that authorised ones operate within the sound limit. A total of 10,923 unauthorised loudspeakers were removed during this drive, PTI reported on April 27.

Further, the volume of 35,221 loudspeakers was set within permissible limits, the news agency had quoted Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar as saying.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray has also been leading a campaign against loudspeakers in mosques since April. On Wednesday, he said that workers of his party will play the Hanuman Chalisa outside mosques till loudspeakers are removed from there.