The Karnataka High Court has directed the State Government to issue directions to the police machinery as well as Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to initiate action against those who are using amplifiers and loudspeakers at the places of religion in violation of Noise Pollution rules.
A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum issued the direction while hearing a petition filed by one Girish Bharadwaj. The bench observed "It will be appropriate in the light of law laid down by the apex court that state government issues a direction to police machinery as well as Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, to initiate action against those who are using amplifiers and loudspeakers at the places of religion, in violation of said rules. The state must consider issuing such directions immediately. To ensure that violation of the said rules is prevented and Rights of citizens under Article 21 are protected."
Advocate B N Jagadeesha appearing for the petitioner informed the court that in places of religion in the state, sound amplifiers are being used in violation of noise pollution rules. The petition stated that the Supreme Court has in the year 2005, extensively dealt with the issue and laid down various directions with respect to noise from loudspeakers and vehicular noise.
The apex court said that noise levels at the boundary of the public place where the loudspeaker or public address system is used the noise levels should not exceed 10 (dB) above the ambient noise standards of the area or 75 (dB), whichever is lower. Further it directed that no one shall beat a drum or tom-tom or blow a trumpet or any sound instrument or use any sound amplifier between 10 pm to 6 am, except in public emergencies.
The plea states that the supreme court also directed States to make provisions for seizure and confiscation of loudspeakers, amplifiers and such other instruments found to be creating noise beyond permissible limits.
The petition prays for directions to the respondents to properly implement the directions issued by the Apex court. Direct the respondents to take steps in order to seizure and confiscation of loudspeakers, amplifiers and such other equipment installed in public religious places.
The court has now posted the matter for hearing after three weeks and directed the state government to file a compliance report