Mumbai: The Bombay High Court said on Wednesday that the police have to follow the law prohibiting use of loudspeakers at night.
A division bench of Justices Revati Mohite-Dere and Sharmila Deshmukh made the observation while hearing a plea filed by advocate Reena Richard alleging inaction on the part of Samta Nagar Police Station against noise from a mosque at Thakur village in Kandivali (East).
2017 petition by Advocate
“If we find there is a breach we will take action for contempt,” Justice Dere said.
The HC was hearing a petition by Richard stating that she had made several police complaints and even posted live videos on social media to show that loudspeakers are used during early hours. Her petition said there is an ESIS Hospital nearby. She had filed a petition in 2017 to stop the noise. Following a contempt petition by Richard in 2018, the loudspeakers were removed. She once again filed a plea in May 2022 alleging that the loudspeakers were back.
During the hearing on Wednesday, public prosecutor Prajakta Shinde said the area is not a silence zone. She submitted a police report that showed that the distance between the hospital and the mosque was 90 metres.
According to the Noise Pollution Rules, a silence zone is an area within 100 metres of educational institutes, hospitals and courts.
Judges refer August 2016 HC judgment
As per court directions, In-charge DCP (Zone XII), DS Swami, was present in the court. He said that ESIS Hospital was not in the list of silence zones issued as per state gazette.
However, the judges stressed that as per the rules, the hospital falls within a silence zone. Hence, the police will have to comply with noise pollution rules and an August 2016 HC judgment on noise pollution. These specifically prohibit use of loudspeakers between 10pm and 6am.
The HC has directed the state to file a reply and kept the petition for hearing on June 12.