The Bombay High Court today refused to provide relief to an association that sought permission to use DJs and loud music this festive season in Maharashtra.
“There is no mention in the entire petition as to what is the output level of the sound systems that the petitioners want to use. We find no averment in the entire petition that the sound produced by such systems is within the permissible limits provided under the schedule to the noise pollution rules,” the Bombay High Court said in its 18-page order.
The petition was filed by Professional Audio and Light Association (PALA), an umbrella body comprising people who supply DJ and sound systems for functions in Maharashtra.
People associated with PALA usually make a killing during Ganapati and Navratri festivities but the police have banned the use of DJ and loud music this time.
A public notice issued by police authorities mentions that the Bombay High Court has imposed a ban on the use of DJ and loud music.
PALA claimed that the ban has unfairly affected them. The court in its petition was examining action taken by authorities in banning these systems.
“We are not willing to accept the arguments that the ambient noise levels in many cities have exceeded permissible limit therefore DJ systems should be permitted which cause only a marginal increase in the ambient permissible limits. When laws are in place and rules are framed, they must be strictly followed. In this view of the matter, it is not possible to grant blanket protection to the petitioners permitting them to use DJ sound systems without there being any specifications before us. In our view, grant of such interim relief at this stage would amount to allowing the petition finally,” the order of the division bench of Justice SS Kemkar and Justice SV Kotwal said.
The bench also noted that “just because some other persons violate rules by creating noise pollution, the petitioners cannot contend that they may also be permitted to violate the rules”.
One of the arguments put up by the petitioners was that Article 19, 1(g) of the Indian Constitution guarantees freedom to practice any profession or carry out any occupation, trade or business. The court however noted that “obviously such trade or business should be in conformity with law”.
The court also noted that “In the absence of any pleadings and reliable material, we are afraid we cannot prima facie, form an opinion that, the impugned decision of the authorities needs to be stayed”.
The court also noted that the petitioners had failed to produce records bearing specifications of the DJ and music systems as well as demonstrating that these systems can be operated within the limits of permissible noise levels.
“Since this petition involves an important question affecting the public at large, we deem it necessary to consider the stand of the government and we expect the state government to file its reply as early as possible,” the court added.
The next date of hearing will be after four weeks.