Karnataka High Court directs action against illegal use of loudspeakers, amplifiers at religious places in violation of Noise Pollution Rules

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum, adverted to the law laid down by the Supreme Court in this regard to direct action against violators.
Karnataka High Court directs action against illegal use of loudspeakers, amplifiers at religious places in violation of Noise Pollution Rules
Loud Speakers

The Karnataka High Court recently directed the State Government to issue directions to the police machinery as well as Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to initiate action against illegal usage of amplifiers and loudspeakers in religious places in violation of the Noise Pollution Rules, 2000.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum, adverted to the law laid down by the Supreme Court in this regard to direct action against violators.

"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 (Noise Pollution Rules). The State must consider issuing such directions immediately to ensure that violation of the said rules is prevented and that the rights of citizens under Article 21 are protected," the Court said.

Advocate BN Jagadeesha, appearing for the petitioner apprised the Bench that sound amplifiers are being used in violation of Noise Pollution Rules at religious places.

The petition filed in this regard said that Supreme Court, in the year 2005, had extensively dealt with this issue and laid down various directions with respect to noise from loudspeakers and vehicular noise.

The apex court had said that noise levels at the boundary of the public place where the loudspeaker or public address system is used, should not exceed 10 (dB) above the ambient noise standards of the area or 75 (dB), whichever is lower.

Further, the petition also pointed out that the Supreme Court had 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 case of public emergency.

Additionally, the plea submitted that the apex court had directed States to make provisions for seizure and confiscation of loudspeakers, amplifiers and such other instruments found to be creating noise beyond permissible limits.

It was the petitioner's case that unnecessary use of loudspeakers and amplifiers create a huge health hazard, which is violative of Article 21.

"It is submitted that the various studies have proved that the usage of the noise polluting instrument such as loudspeaker in religious places at early morning and evening during the night beyond the permissible limits and without obtaining permission for usages of such loudspeakers, horns of engines, pressure horns in automobiles is creating huge health hazards to people, thereby violating the fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India", the petition stated.

On these grounds, the petition prayed for the proper implementation of the directions issued by the apex court so that steps are taken for seizure/confiscation of loudspeakers, amplifiers, and such other equipment installed in public religious places.

The court will next hear the matter after three weeks.

[Read Petition]

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