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Apex Court stays impugned order of Bombay HC, prohibiting use of loudspeakers

Team SoOLEGAL 5 Sep 2017 10:50am

Apex Court stays impugned order of Bombay HC, prohibiting use of loudspeakers

The Apex Court yesterday stayed the order passed by the Bombay High Court which halted the Central Government’s new noise pollution rules coming into force.

Loudspeakers can make disastrous noises in Mumbai during Ganesh Visarjan Festivities on Tuesday, with the Apex Court temporarily suspended the order of Bombay High Court for banning their use in the State. The Bombay High Court on 1 September had granted interim stay to a recent amendment proposed by Central Government regarding the establishment of strict laws on Noise Pollution that led to transforming entire Mumbai city into a “SIlent Zone”.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud issued a notice in the matter against social activists on a petition filed by the State Government which stayed the order of the Bombay High Court bench comprising Justices A S Oka, Anoop Mohta, and Riyaz Chagla.

According to the said order, any area within the radius of 100 meters from any school, hospital, or court was deemed to be treated as a “Silent Zone” and no state, private or religious celebrations including loudspeakers, sound producing instruments, firecrackers and amplifiers are allowed beyond the permitted sound level.

The Apex Court restrained High Court to issue any further orders on the matter until the respondent provides a reasonable answer for their attempts of imposing ban.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for State Government, argued that “if these amendments (Rules and Regulations) regarding prevention of noise pollution are executed without having proper considerations, then you are prohibited to use loud speakers near any school, hospital or court which will simply make the entire city, mute ”. Also, he expressed, the ban may ignite law and order issues during the festival of Ganesh Visarjan which happens to be the oldest religious tradition from a very long time, wherein loudspeakers, firecrackers, amplifiers are usually operational. If this impugned order of imposing ban on loudspeakers continues, the State authorities would be compelled to either prevent the use of loudspeakers or prosecute the organizers of Ganesh Pandal for violating the order.

Senior Counsel C U Singh appearing for activists stated that the High Court had legitimate reasons for imposing the ban and even the Supreme Court once banned them previously.          

The Bench observed that the amendment was unconstitutional and violates the Rights of personal liberty under the Article 21 of the Constitution and directed the High Court to not proceed in the matter till the trial is heard by the Supreme Court.

Advocate Gaurav Agarwal appeared for the respondent and Ajay Marathe, while CU Singh appeared for the intervenor who was heard in the court.  

The next hearing is scheduled on September 22.

Read the Order here: 

Bombay High Court   Chief Justice of India Dipak Misr  

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