Loudspeakers at religious places – Violation of right to Privacy

By | October 18, 2017
loudspeaker

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“Right to privacy” is an integral part of Right to Life and Personal Liberty guaranteed in Article 21 of the Constitution,” the SC’s nine judges bench ruled unanimously. It added that the right to privacy is intrinsic to the entire fundamental rights chapter of the Constitution.

Case filed for removal of loudspeakers from religious places

Recently a PIL filed by social activist Mr. Sanjiv Kumar for removal of loudspeakers from all religious structures on the ground that their use is an encroachment on a person’s “right to be left alone and spatial control” and thus violates the newly recognized fundamental right to privacy. The Litigator argued that as loudspeakers are not part of/intrinsic to any of the religions as all religions are 4,000 to 5000 years old whereas loudspeaker came into existence in 1924, that is less than 100 years and hence, banning them will not violate Article 25 or 26 of the Constitution of India. The petition also quoted from the Supreme Court’s verdict in Forum, Prevention of Environment and Sound Pollution as –


“No religion ever says to force the unwilling to listen to expressions of religious beliefs.”


Does God really responds if you call them through loudspeakers

It is a common tendency in India that people pray to God via loudspeakers. I still feel that does God really responds if you call them through loudspeakers? The answer is obviously not. So, why do they violate the privacy of others by intruding in their life through loudspeakers at religious places? If one cannot enter one’s house with portable music system, playing religious bhajans etc, then how can Loudspeakers sound/noise be allowed to enter one’s house. Sorry but it’s akin to trespassing one’s spatial control one’s house. If after Privacy Ruling, even the state cannot enter one’s house if one hasn’t committed any crime, how the non-state religious actors can ruin one’s peace tranquillity. After Privacy being made a fundamental right, Loudspeakers are no-go zone and needs to be banned. There may be heart patients or patients suffering from nervous disorder may be compelled to bear this serious impact of sound pollution which has had an adverse effect on them. Toddlers, kids are equally affected.

If one cannot enter one’s house with a portable music system, playing religious bhajans etc, then how can Loudspeakers sound/noise be allowed to enter one’s house. Sorry but it’s akin to trespassing one’s spatial control one’s house.


If after Privacy Ruling, even the state cannot enter one’s house if one hasn’t committed any crime, how the non-state religious actors can ruin one’s peace tranquillity.


After Privacy being made a fundamental right, Loudspeakers are no-go zone and needs to be banned. There may be heart patients or patients suffering from nervous disorder may be compelled to bear this serious impact of sound pollution which has had an adverse effect on them. Toddlers, kids are equally affected.

Hon’ble Mr. Justice DY Chandrachud in the privacy judgment stated that “one’s house is like a castle to him. If loudspeakers are encroaching one’s right of spatial control (one’s home), one’s right to be left alone, then what’s the meaning of fundamental rights? It will be just on paper. Hence to protect and uphold the fundamental rights of one’s “left alone”, “personhood (physical and mental peace), spatial control – Loudspeakers need to go”

Verdict

The decision of the Delhi High court for banning loudspeakers at religious places on the ground that their use is encroachment to one’s right to privacy is very subtle and apt and highly appreciated.

– Poornika Kumari

Content Writer @ Legal Bites