Chennai: Castigating the practice of using horn-type loud speakers (funnel-type) at religious places of various religions, causing noise pollution, the Madras high court observed, “It appears that these institutions (places of worship of different faiths) perceive that the blessing of God cannot be obtained unless there is loud noise. Prayers for all religions have been going on from ancient time even when electricity did not exist”.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M.M. Sundresh directed the authorities to immediately carry out inspection of all these places and ensure action against noise pollution.
The Bench was passing orders on a PIL from S. Kumarvelu, a social worker, which sought a direction to the authorities to implement the order passed by the Supreme Court way back in 2005, restricting the use of horn type loud speakers in its letter and spirit in order to control the noise pollution.
In its order, the bench said government pleader submitted that there were proceedings even before the National Green Tribunal regarding the issue.
It was also stated that if any complaint was preferred against noise pollution, action will be initiated against the organisers of the concerned place without any deviation, as communicated to them by the DGP (through a letter dated March 28, 2016).
The letter also states that while permitting any programme or function, police officials were ensuring that no horn speaker was used and that any speaker used was within the decibel level prescribed by the government and any deviation in this will lead to registration of case and seizure of the particular horn speaker.
On the other hand, counsel for the petitioner has now given specific examples of at least 44 places where the horn type speakers were being used and decibel levels were being crossed.
Unfortunately, they all relate to religious places of different religions. It appears that these institutions perceive that the blessing of God cannot be obtained unless there was loud noise. The prayers for all religions have been going on from ancient time even when electricity did not exist.
“We see no reason why in view of the categorical judgment of the SC, which is now eleven years old, there should be any violation whatsoever. More than enough time has elapsed for implementation. The respondents (authorities) are directed to file the compliance report before the court, the Bench added.