Public Access to Allahabad HC’s Police Line Campus Restricted 


The Allahabad High Court’s decision sparks debates on religious freedom and the governance of public space.

Team Clarion 

PRAYAGRAJ – The Allahabad High Court recently ruled that the Police Line Campus in Prayagraj would be a “sensitive place,” where public entry would be restricted during the time of namaz (Muslim prayers). The ruling came in response to a petition filed by a lawyer seeking to prevent public gatherings for namaz in the campus, citing security concerns and disruption to official functions.

The decision has ignited a fierce debate, with proponents arguing for preservation of public order and security, while critics decry it as an infringement on religious freedom and access to communal spaces. 

Justice Saurabh Shyam Shamshery, delivering the verdict, emphasised the need to balance religious rights with public safety, stating, “Every person has the right to perform his religious activities, but it should not infringe upon the rights of others or public order.”

The petitioner, citing instances of overcrowding and disturbance to official duties during namaz gatherings, contended that unrestricted public access to the Police Line Campus posed security risks and hindered the functioning of government offices located within the premises. 

The court acknowledged the petitioner’s concerns and underscored the state’s obligation to ensure the safety and security of all citizens.

The verdict has elicited mixed reactions, with religious leaders and civil society groups expressing divergent views on its implications. Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahli, a prominent Islamic cleric, voiced apprehensions over the restriction on public access during namaz, cautioning against the potential marginalisation of religious minorities.

Conversely, proponents of the ruling argue that it is essential to maintain the sanctity of public spaces and uphold the rule of law, especially in sensitive areas such as government installations and security zones.

Advocate Vikram Singh Chauhan, representing the petitioner, hailed the court’s decision as a step towards preserving public order and preventing disruptions to administrative functions.

The ruling underscores broader issues surrounding the governance of public spaces and the delicate balance between individual rights and collective interests. It raises pertinent questions about the regulation of religious practices in public domains and the state’s role in safeguarding public order and security.

Critics caution against the potential misuse of state power to curtail religious freedoms. They argue that while security concerns must be addressed, any restrictions on religious practices should be proportionate and non-discriminatory, respecting the principles of equality and religious pluralism.


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