India is a secular country where people of many religions reside together peacefully . All religions are treated equally and no discrimination is allowed based on the same. However there are certain practices of various religions which are a cause of concern to the other. The most prominent is the use of sound amplifying devices to make communications regarding their religion which acts a disturbance to those who do not believe the said .
The pandemic has been at large since it's inception in late 2019 and has led many people like students and working professionals to conduct their business from their homes. However the said working environment is being disturbed by the public announcements by various religious authorities. In the Light of the same, A PIL has been filed by lawyer Ashutosh Kumar Shukla through his Advocate Satyam Singh Rajput at the Allahabad HC against use of public address systems is going on in the entire state at the Mosques and other religious places.
The Advocate in his petition has states that due to the Covid 19 induced lockdown everyone including working professionals and students have been conducting their business online while sitting at their homes. He has stated that now a day’s house is not only a place to accommodate housemates but an office for an employee who is working from home, class room for a student taking online classes, court room for a lawyer attending hearings virtually and apart from these several other activities are taking place through house due to fatal second wave of Covid-19.
He has submitted that due to continuous use of public address system several times during a day is causing tremendous interruption in concentration as well as to the mental and physical health of every house hold living in the vicinity of such areas where public address systems are installed and being used to honk in flagrant violation of Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules 2000 & order passed by this Hon’ble Court in PIL No. 570 of 2020. He has contended That such illegal use of public address system several times a day is causing interruption of sleep, affect communication, loss of efficiency, hearing loss or deafness, high blood pressure, depression, irritability, fatigue, gastro-intestinal problems, allergy, distraction, mental stress and annoyance etc.
The petitioner has prayed for the following directions-
1) Issue a Writ, order or direction in the nature of Mandamus thereby directing the respondents to ensure compliance of direction passed in PIL No. 570 of 2020 and ban regular use of public address system and sound amplifying device for religious recitation and/or call for prayer without permission of competent authority.
2) Issue a Writ, order or direction directing the Respondent to collect, compile and publish technical and statistical data relating to noise pollution and measures devised for its effective prevention, control and abatement and stop regular use of public address system and sound amplifying device for religious recitation and/or call for prayer without permission of competent authority.
3) Issue a writ, order or direction to the respondents to call objections of general public living in the vicinity of Temple, Mosque or Church prior to issuance of permission for use of public address system or sound amplifier device for religious recitation and/or call for prayer.
4) Issue a writ, order or direction to the respondents to publish details of applications and permissions granted for use of public address system or sound amplifier for religious recitation and/or call for prayer, in public domain making the same available to the general public for reporting in case of violation of norms as prescribes under The Noise The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000.