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The Delhi High Court had issued notice to the Centre and Delhi government on public interest litigation for removal of loudspeakers from the top of all the religious structures on the ground that their use hinders the fundamental right to privacy. The use of loudspeakers is an encroachment on the people’s “right to be left alone and spatial control”, the petitioner had contended.

The bench headed by the then acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal had issued the notice in the matter. However, in response to the counter affidavits by the respondents, permission was sought from the court seeking a reply by the petitioner. The court yesterday again granted two weeks time to the petitioner to file the rejoinder and also declared that if the petitioner fails to file the rejoinder, his right to file rejoinder shall stand forfeited.

The petition had contended that while the religions in existence are thousands of years old, these coil current speakers are merely 100 years old. Thus, the contention was against the premise that the impugned act must form the integral part of the religion.

The petition while also quoting the Supreme Court judgment in Forum, Prevention of Environment and Sound Pollution contended: “No religion ever says to force the unwilling to listen to expressions of religious beliefs.”

The petitioner had also relied heavily on the K S Puttuswamy judgment of the Supreme Court where the Right to Privacy was declared as a Fundamental Right.

Shivani Bhasin

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