The difference in opinion:
- A plea on the use of loudspeakers in religious institutions has left a division bench of the Uttarakhand High Court divided.
- While a judgment by Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan modified a 2018 order & allowed loudspeakers with sound level of 60 decibels in religious places, his partner Judge, Justice Lokpal Singh, has registered his difference with the Chief Justice.
- This means the ban on loudspeakers above 5dB(A) continues to remain in place & the matter will now be referred to a 3rd Judge.
Hierarchy of incidents:
- On Thursday, it was reported that the division bench of Chief Justice Ranganathan & Justice Lok Pal Singh had modified a judgment on loudspeakers issued in 2018 while calling it an “accidental error”.
- On Friday, it emerged that the order was only by the Chief Justice while Justice Lok Pal Singh has actually rejected the petition filed on behalf of the Jama Masjid of Bazpur.
- Justice Lok Pal Singh mentioned several reasons for the rejection, including locus standi of the applicant & casting aspersions on the Court.
Views of applicant and Judge:
- During one of the hearings, the Lawyer appearing for the applicant had remarked that if the member of the division bench — referring to Justice Lok Pal Singh — isn't inclined to grant relief, the application should be dismissed.
- At this, the Judge had objected & said that the statement was contemptuous & “the application is liable to be rejected on this ground alone”.