HC seeks governments’ response on loudspeaker ban at religious places

The court issued the notice and sought responses by January 29 on a PIL filed by a rights activist Sanjiv Kumar

The Delhi High Court on Friday asked the Centre, Delhi government, and police to respond to a plea for ban on loudspeakers at religious structures/places as these violated the fundamental right to privacy of those living nearby.

The court issued the notice and sought responses by January 29 on a PIL filed by a rights activist Sanjiv Kumar.

Loudspeakers violate the citizens’ physical and mental peace, spatial control and personal space and hence encroach upon their fundamental right to privacy, the petitioner said, adding that loudspeakers were never a part of any religion.

Sanjiv Kumar said that loudspeakers came to be used in 1924 and a ban on them will not violate Article 25 or 26 of the Constitution of India that deal with freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion as well as freedom to manage religious affairs.

“Use of Loudspeakers certainly takes away the right of the citizens to speak with others, their right to read or think, and right to sleep. There may be heart patients or patients suffering from nervous disorder may be compelled to bear this serious impact of sound pollution which has an adverse effect on them. Toddlers, kids are equally affected,” the plea said.

A nine-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in August held that the right to privacy is a Fundamental Right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Citing the apex court’s landmark ruling, the petitioner said the use of loudspeakers on religious structures/places was “encroachment and violation of one’s fundamental right to privacy, which is protected as an intrinsic part of the right to life and personal liberty”.

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