Use of loudspeakers at mosques 'not a fundamental right', rules Allahabad HC

News Network
May 6, 2022

Allahabad, May 6: The Allahabad High Court on Friday ruled that delivering the azaan on loudspeakers is not a fundamental right.

The court made this remark while dismissing a petition filed by one Irfan of Budaun, who sought permission to play Azaan using loudspeakers in the Noori Masjid.

"The law has now been settled that use of loudspeaker from mosque is not a fundamental right. Ever otherwise a cogent reason has been assigned in the impugned order. Accordingly, we find that the present petition is patently misconceived, hence the same is dismissed," said the court.

The court further said that although azaan is an integral part of Islam, it stated that delivering it through loudspeakers is not a part of the religion.

"Azaan is an integral part of Islam, but giving it through loudspeakers is not a part of Islam," a bench headed by Justice BK Vidla and Justice Vikas said.

Ruling on the petition, a two-judge bench of the Allahabad High Court had noted that there have been previous instances where courts have ruled that the call for prayer on a loudspeaker is not a fundamental right.

Azaan is the Islamic call to prayers which is given five times at prescribed times of the day. A muezzin is a person who proclaims the call to the daily prayer five times a day at a mosque.

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News Network
June 23,2022

Hassan, June 23: An earthquake measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale shook parts of Hassan district and neighbouring regions in south Indian state of Karnataka in the wee hours of Thursday, a disaster management official said.

The earthquake was also felt in many villages near Somwarpet in Kodagu district. People ran out of their houses following the tremor.

According to Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority Commissioner, Manoj Rajan, the epicentre was Maluganahalli village under Nagaranahalli village panchayat in Holenarasipura Taluk of Hassan district.

He said as per the seismic intensity map of the said earthquake from the epicentre, the intensity observed is moderate and the tremor may be felt up to a maximum radial distance of 40-50 kms from the epicentre.

“This type of earthquake does not create any harm to the local community, although there might be slight shaking observed locally. As the epicentre falls in Seismic Zone-II, the chances of occurrence of earthquakes is very less and the possibility of damage is low.

"As the region is void of any structural discontinuities as per the tectonic map, the community need not panic as the intensity observed is moderate and not destructive,” the commissioner explained.

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Agencies
July 1,2022

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New Delhi, July 1: India imposed a ban on many single-use plastics on Friday in a bid to tackle waste choking rivers and poisoning wildlife, but experts say it faces severe headwinds from unprepared manufacturers and consumers unwilling to pay more.

The country generates around four million tonnes of plastic waste per year, about a third of which is not recycled and ends up in waterways and landfills that regularly catch fire and exacerbate air pollution.

Stray cows munching on plastic are a common sight in Indian cities and a recent study found traces in the dung of elephants in the northern forests of Uttarakhand state.

Estimates vary but around half comes from items used once, and the new ban covers the production, import and sale of ubiquitous objects like straws and cups made of plastic as well as wrapping on cigarette packets.

Exempt for now are products such as plastic bags below a certain thickness and so-called multi-layered packaging.

Authorities have promised to crack down hard after the ban -- first announced in 2018 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi -- came into effect.

Inspectors are set to fan-out from Friday checking that no suppliers or distributors are flouting the rules at risk of a maximum fine of 100,000 rupees ($1,265) or five-year jail sentence.

Around half of India's regions have already sought to impose their own regulations but as the state of rivers and landfill sites testifies, success has been mixed.

Firms in the plastics industry, which employs millions of people, say that alternatives are expensive and they have been lobbying the government for a delay to the ban.

Pintu, who earns his living hacking the top of coconuts with a machete and serving them to customers with a plastic straw, doesn't know what he will do.

Switching to "expensive paper straws will be tough. I will likely pass the cost to the customers," he told AFP in New Delhi.

"I've heard it'll help the environment but I don't see how it'll change anything for us," he added.

GlobalData analysts said small packs with plastic straws make up 35 per cent of soft drinks volumes, meaning manufacturers will be "badly hit".

"(The) price-sensitive masses are unable to foot the bill for eco-friendly alternatives," Bobby Verghese from GlobalData added.

Jigish N. Doshi, president of industry group Plastindia Foundation, expects "temporary" job losses but said the bigger issue was firmed "which had invested huge capital for machines that may not be useful" after the ban.

"It's not easy to make different products from machines and the government could help by offering some subsidies and helping develop and purchase alternative products," Doshi told AFP.

Satish Sinha from environmental group Toxics Link told AFP that "there will be initial resistance" as finding replacements may be hard but it was a "very welcome step".

"There will be difficulties and we may pay the price but if you're serious about the environment, this is an important issue that needs a concerted push," he said.

One young company trying to be part of the change is Ecoware, which makes disposable bio-degradable products at its factory outside Delhi.

Chief executive Rhea Mazumdar Singhal told AFP that the appalling state of landfills and widespread plastic consumption inspired her venture.

"We've seen plenty of bans before, but as citizens the power lies with us," Singhal said. 

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coastaldigest.com news network
June 23,2022

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Mangaluru, June 21: In a coldblooded filicide, a 45-year-old man pushed his wife and three children into a well and jumped into it today at Hosakavery near Kinnigoli on the outskirts of the city.

Local flower vendor Muhammad Nasir, who heard the screams of the family from the well, immediately entered the well and tried to rescue the children and their parents.

Meanwhile, more number of locals and fire fighters reached the spot and joined the rescue operation.

While the parents survived, the children breathed their last without responding to emergency treatment in the hospital. 

The deceased are Rashmitha (13), a Class 8 student, Uday (11), a Class 6 student and Dakshith (4), who was an Anganwadi student. 

Their mother Laxmi (38) and the accused father Hithesh shettigar are survivors. 

The accused was working in the canteen of MRPL in the past. Recently he had quit the job and started a small-time business after borrowing loan from a bank. He was reportedly facing financial crisis. 

The jurisdictional Mulki police arrested the accused and booked a case of murder against him. 

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