Sunday, September 18, 2011

HC okays use of loudspeakers in Godhra

Ahmedabad: Nine years after the Panchamahals district collector prohibited loudspeakers in mosques in Godhra, the Gujarat high court has permitted their use between 6 am and 10 pm. The permission to use them is within stipulated decibels as prescribed by a Supreme Court decision.
In 2002, following the riots, the collector had banned use of loudspeakers on religious places. The authority cited a Supreme Court verdict in the case of Tamil Nadu involving Church of God (Full Gospel) in India and KKR Majestic Colony Welfare Association. The Apex court, though did not dealt with the issue in detail, but passed directions not to use voice amplifiers in a way that causes noise pollution, for it should not adversely affects the rights of others, including the right of not being disturbed in their activities.
There were repeated representations before authority in this regard, but when nothing happened, one Shaukat Makrani moved Gujarat high court in 2004. Despite prohibition, there was unofficial use of loudspeakers in many religious places in the town. During a hearing last month, the chief justice orally observed that if the decision of removal of voice amplifiers has to be taken, it should be for all communities.

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