Karnataka High Court Directs Government To Act Against Illegal Loudspeakers at Religious Places

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The High Court of Karnataka on Monday asked the state government to immediately direct the police and Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to initiate an action on the use of loudspeakers and amplifiers in religious places which violates the laws on noise pollution and the orders by the apex court.

In response to the PIL filed by a resident of Bangalore, Girish Bharadwaj, directions were issued by a division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Sreenivas Oka and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum.

While observing the fact there have been several PILs filed on the illegal use of loudspeakers in religious places violating the Noise Pollution Rules 2000 issued under the Environment Protection Act it states that the state must ensure that Article 21 of the constitution which grants the right to privacy is not violated.

While loudspeakers are used illegally by various religious places beyond the prescribed limit, they often forget that people’s right to privacy is violated and there exist some sensitive and vulnerable beings who may adversely get affected by the loud noise.

The apex court had directed the state government to seizure or confiscate all loudspeakers and amplifiers that make noise beyond the prescribed limit. The petitioner pointed out all the directions that were issued by the apex court and said that the state government had failed to implement these directions.

The petitioner also stated that the apex court had directed the State Government to ensure that the noise level does not exceed the boundary level in the public spaces. The directions given specified that in places like religious areas where loudspeakers are used as per law, the sound should not exceed 10dB(A) above the noise standards for the area or 75dB(A) whichever is lower.

The petitioner also highlighted the Court’s specifications on the use of loudspeakers at night. The Apex Court has directed that there should not be any beating of Drum, Tom-Tom, blowing of a trumpet, or sound of any instrument or use of sound amplifiers between 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM. An exception can be given during public emergencies.

The Court prescribes that for privately owned speakers the authorities should ensure that peripheral noise level must not exceed more than 5dB(A) than the ambient air quality standard that has been specified for each area.


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