KARNATAKA: On Monday, Karnataka High Court rejected a PIL alleging that the contents of Azan (Muslim Prayer) hurt the sentiments of the other religious groups.
Advocate Manjunath S. Halawar who is appearing for a Petitioner appear before the Hon’ble Court and said that though Azan is an ‘essential religious practice’ of Muslims, however, the words “Allahu Akbar” used in Azan affect the religious beliefs of other religious groups. The plea also contained other words from the Azaan.
The division bench of Acting Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty dissuaded the petitioner’s counsel from reading it. It orally remarked, “Do not violate your own fundamental rights, you have said by hearing these words your right is violated so why should you read it.”
The bench refused to accept that the contents of Azan violate the fundamental rights of the citizen of India.
Further, Bench observe – “Article 25 (1) of the Constitution of India, confers the Fundamental Rights on all persons to freely profess, practise and propagate their own religion. However this right is not an absolute right but is subject to restrictions on the grounds of public order, morality, and health as well as subject to other provisions in part 3 of the Constitution of India.”
“Undoubtedly the petitioner as well believers of other faiths have the Right to practise their religion. Azaan is a call to Muslims to offer prayers. It is the case the petitioner himself as pleaded in para 6 (b) of the writ petition, that Azan is an essential religious practise of the persons belonging to Islam…It is also pertinent to note that it is not the case of the petitioner himself that his fundamental right guaranteed under Article 25 is being infringed in any manner by offering Azan, through loudspeakers or PA system or its contents violate the fundamental right guaranteed to petitioner or persons belonging to other faith.”