Noise Pollution – Implementation of the Laws for restricting use of loudspeakers and high volume producing sound systems

Below given is a copy of the Supreme court of India’s judgment on restriction the use of loudspeakers.

 

CASE NOTE HIGHLIGHT
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Writ Petition (C) No. 72 of 1998 with Civil Appeal No. 3735 of 2005 [Arising out of SLP
(C) No. 21851/2003]

Decided On: 18.07.2005

Appellants: In Re: Noise Pollution – Implementation of the Laws for restricting use
of loudspeakers and high volume producing sound systems
Vs.

Respondent:

WITH

Appellants: Forum, Prevention of Envn. and Sound Pollution
Vs.

Respondent: Union of India (UOI) and Anr.


Hon’ble Judges:
R.C. Lahoti, C.J. and Ashok Bhan,

Counsels:
Raju Ramachandran, Additional Solicitor General (NP), Jitendra Sharma (AC), N.N. Goswami, Rajiv Dutta, G.L. Sanghi, P.N. Mishra and R. Mohan, Sr. Advs., Sandeep Narain (AC), Anil Kumar Mittal, Anjali Jha, M.K.S. Menon, M.K. Michael, Indra Sawhney, Meenakshi Arora, P. Parmeswaran, Anil Katiyar, A. Francis Julian, A. Subhashini, D.S. Mahra, Ashok Bhan, Varuna Bhandari Gungnani, Vijay Panjwani, K.R. Sasiprabhu (NP), Jagjit Singh Chhabra (NP), Sanjay V.S. Choudhury, Niraj Kumar, V.K. Sidharthan, P.V. Yogeswaran, S. Ravi Shankar, Yamunah Nachiar and M.A. Chinnaswamy, Advs. for the appearing parties

Subject: Constitution

Subject: Environment

Catch Words: Abatement, Accused, Acquisition, Ad Hoc Basis, Administrative Action, Air Pollution, Air Quality Standard, Aircraft Noise, Allowance, Atmospheric Pollution, Composition, Conduct of Business, Constitution of India, Construction Site, Criminal Prosecution, Damage, Decent Environment, Definition, Discrimination, Domestic Noise, Duration, Educational Institution, Emergency, Emission, Emission Standard, Enforcement of Fundamental Right, Enforcement of Law, Environment Agency, Environmental Pollution, Environmental Protection, Existing Law, Federation, Freedom of Speech, Fundamental Duties, Fundamental Right, Guarantee, Interim Order, International Agreement, Issuance of Direction, Jurisdiction, Legal Action, Legal Aid, Legislation, Liberty, Life and Personal Liberty, Mandamus, Motor Vehicle, National Parks, Neighbourhood Noise, Noise Abatement, Noise Pollution, Non-Scheduled Premise, Personal Liberty, Pollution Control, Public Health, Public Interest, Public Interest Litigation, Public Nuisance, Quality Standard, Reasonable Restriction, Regulation, Representation, Right to Life, Right to Live, Road Traffic, Scheduled Premises, Special Area, Special Leave Petition, Statutory Nuisance, Temple, The Executive, Third Schedule, Union Territories, Writ of Mandamus

Acts/Rules/Orders:
Constitution of India – Articles 19, 19(1), 19(1)A, 19(10), 21, 25, 141 and 142; Noise Pollution Control and Regulation Rules, 1999; Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 – Section 2; Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 – Section 2; Noise Abetment Act, 1960 – Section 2; Control on Pollution Act, 1974; Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act, 1993; Noise Control Act, 1975; Noise Control (Miscellaneous Articles) Regulations, 1995; Noise Control (Motor Vehicles and Motor Vehicle Accessories) Regulations, 1995; Noise Control Ordinance; Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 – Rule 3; Indian Penal Code, 1860 – Sections 95, 268, 290 and 291; Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), 1973 – Section 133; Factories Act, 1948 – Sections 89 and 90; Motor Vehicles Act, 1988; Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 – Rules 119 and 120; Central Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Rules, 1999; Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986 – Rule 89; Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) (Amendment) Act, 1987; Explosive Rules, 1983 – Rule 87; Explosives Act, 1884; Madras Town Nuisances Act, 1889


Cases Referred:

Free Legal Aid Cell Shri Sugan Chand Aggarwal alias Bhagatji v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi and Ors., MANU/DE/0654/2001; P.A. Jacob v. Superintendent of Police, Kottayam, MANU/KE/0001/1993; Om Birangana Religious Society v. State, 100 CWN 617; Kirori Mal Bishambar“ Dayal v. The State, MANU/PH/0003/1958; Bhuban Ram and Ors. v. Bibhuti Bhushan Biswas, AIR 1919 Calcutta 539; Ivour Heyden v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 1984 Cri LJ (NOC) 16; Rabin Mukherjee v. State of West Bengal, MANU/WB/0058/1985; People United for better Living in Calcutta v. State of West Bengal, MANU/WB/0025/1993; Burrabazar Fireworks Dealers Association v. Commissioner of police, Calcutta, MANU/WB/0078/1997; Appa Rao, M.S. v. Govt. of T.N. , (1995) 1 LW 319 (Mad); The Supreme Court in Church of God (Full Gospel) in India v. K.K.R. Majestic Colony Welfare Assn., MANU/SC/0537/2000; Charan Lal Sahu v. Union of India, MANU/SC/0285/1990; M.C. Mehta v. Union of India, MANU/SC/1081/2003; Moulana Mufti Syed Md. Noorur Rehman Barkati v. State of West Bengal, MANU/WB/0211/1998


Casenote
Environment – noise pollution – Articles 19, 19(1), 19(1)A, 19(10), 21, 25, 141 and 142 OF Constitution of India , Noise Pollution Control and Regulation Rules, 1999, Section 2 of Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, Section 2 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, Section 2 of Noise Abetment Act, 1960, Control on Pollution Act, 1974, Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act, 1993, Noise Control Act, 1975, Noise Control (Miscellaneous Articles) Regulations, 1995, Noise Control (Motor Vehicles and Motor Vehicle Accessories) Regulations, 1995, Noise Control Ordinance, Rule 3 of Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 – petition seeking stringent implementation of laws pertaining to noise pollution – Apex Court considering gravity of matter issued following direction – firecrackers to be evaluated on basis of chemical composition – Department of Explosive (DOE) directed to conduct study for this purpose and to specify composition of chemicals allowable in firecrackers – firecrackers to be divided into light emitting and sound emitting category – complete ban on bursting sound emitting firecrackers between 10 pm and 6 am – manufacturers of firecrackers directed to mention on box of firecrackers the components used in it – manufacturers to be held liable in case formulae used by them does not match with specification of DOE – manufacturers permitted to export firecrackers with higher noise level subject to strict control – regarding use of loudspeaker Court directed that noise level at boundary of public place, where loudspeaker or public address system or any other noise source is being used shall not exceed 10 dB(A) above ambient noise standards for area or 75 dB(A) whichever is lower – beating of drum or tom-tom or blow of trumpet or beat or sound of any instrument or use of any sound amplifier at night (between 10. 00 p.m. and 6.a.m.) except in public emergencies prohibited – peripheral noise level of privately owned sound system restricted to dB(A) – blowing of vehicular horn in residential area at night hours prohibited – State directed to add chapters in text books regarding ill effects of noise pollution -State directed to specify ambient air quality standards in different areas – State also directed to seize loud speakers and amplifiers making noise beyond permissible limit.

 

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Other useful readings:

  1. http://www.elaw.org/resources/text.asp?id=1835

Conditions for grant of loudspeaker licence, as set out by the Bench, are as follows

(1) Amplifiers can be used only between 9 A.M. To 10.30 P.M. and for
3 hours at a time. The duration of 3 hours is relaxable under special circumstances. (2) No extension speaker should be put up outside the premises for which the licence is issued. Relaxable in the case of temples, churches and mosque on some occasions. (3) Only Box type speaker should be used. (4) The volume should be such low that it is not heard outside the premises.

(5) If any misuse is noticed licence will be cancelled. (6) The installation of loudspeakers and mike sets for which the licence is issued should be done only by an electrical contractor having at least a valid “B” Contractor’s licence issued by the Electrical Licensing Board of the State and operated only by a person having a wiremen competency certificate issued by the Electrical licensing Board. Non compliance of the condition is not only punishable under the Madras City Police Act but also under the Indian Electricity Rules, 1 956 for violation of Rule 36 thereof.

(7) No sound amplifier shall face and no person shall use a sound amplifier, within (prescribe) the limits of hospital, place of worship or an educational institution.

(8) Any Police Officer on duty above the rank of Head Constable may require any party to stop using or remove any sound amplifier the using of which, may be a nuisance or cause obstruction and it shall be stopped or removed as the case may be immediately.

(9) Any Police Officer on duty above the rank of Head Constable may seize any sound amplifier or other instrument used in amplifying which has been or appears to have been used in contravention of any of the conditions stipulated.

(10) Loudspeakers should not be allowed to be installed on towers and temple walls, churches and mosques, so as to face the surrounding streets and areas, should be installed within the precincts and turned inwards so that the music is audible only within the precincts of the temple/church/mosque. Exemption will be given during the month of Ramzan when the calls of the Muazzine for prayers is traditionally made from the mosque tower.” This decision has been approved by the Supreme Court in CHURCH OF GOD IN INDIA v.. K.K.R. MAJESTIC COLONY WELFARE ASSOCIATION [AIR 20 00 SC
2773 : 2000 (7) SCC 282].

11 thoughts on “Noise Pollution – Implementation of the Laws for restricting use of loudspeakers and high volume producing sound systems”

  1. Loudspeakers were used in the past because people didn’t have clocks/watches. They weren’t educated on how to tell time by looking at the sun. So the Mullahs would go to the top point of the Mosque and call for prayer. As time passed loudspeakers were introduced.

    I really don’t see the need to introduce them in an urban area as I know how “bothersome” it might get plus I think its an individual’s responsibility to know when its time to go pray.

  2. Use of loudspeakers – may it in the hindu temples, mosques or churches – should be banned. If Hindus want to pay, so be it. let them pray by chanting bhajans, but why they should telecast aloud to all the people living in the neighbourhood ? Those who want to takepart in the bhajan and other ceremoniens- well.. let them come to the temple.

  3. Over 10 mosques in Mumbai have voluntarily stopped using loudspeakers for the early morning azaan for the Fajr prayers at 5 a.m. This is to abide by the Supreme Court order banning the use of loudspeakers between 10 pm and 6 am. The Jama Masjid, attached to Mahim Dargah, is one such mosque. It can accommodate 2,000 people. Nearly 350 people attend the congregation prayers held at around 5.15 am. The Mohalla Committee members, who initiated the process, are elated. They say the step will go a long way in developing trust between various communities

  4. The 1992 judgement had permitted the use of box type loud speakers in temples, churches and mosques, but ruled that the sound from these speakers should not go beyond the the boundary of their premises.

    Why these religious institutions are adamant on the use of horn type loudspeakers, they can use Box type loudspeakers. Why to bother people who are not interested in their prechings?

    As one of the above comments pointed out, in the past there were no other ways to know time, so the mullahs used to claim to the top of the mosque and ‘call for the prayer’ is made so that all belivers can come to the mosque. Nowadays everyone is having a watch and even mobile phone and they can keep the time very well. Hence no need to use a hornype loudspeaker for making ‘call for the prayer’.

  5. Chandran Sukumaran

    Noise pollution in public places can be controlled via regulations. However, in todays high tech world with i-pods etc quite number of people are hearing music via head/ear phones. There are evidence to show that young people (in Malaysia) are suffering from high frequency hearing loss which we all know is irreversible. An awareness program on Hearing Conservation must be made mandatory in schools so that future generations may enjoy a better quality of life. Perhaps these gadgets too must have signs to warn the perils of hearing loss.

  6. Hi,
    I Live in malad near link road.We have Masjid opp our building.We do not have any issue in regards to religion or so.My question to you would be”Are Loud Speakers allowed outside masjids”. I am asking the question as we usually have a Morning Azan which is pretty loud.Even the other 4 namaz are loud.Is there any way that we can request the people to get the decible volume down for their loudspeakers which they use.

    Kindly Advice

    Vinay

  7. No extension speaker should be put up outside the premises for which the licence is issued. Relaxable in the case of temples, churches and mosque on some occasions.

    Relaxable in the case of temples, churches and mosque

    these relaxations are the problems…

  8. (1) Amplifiers can be used only between 9 A.M. To 10.30 P.M. and for
    3 hours at a time. The duration of 3 hours is relaxable under special circumstances. (2) No extension speaker should be put up outside the premises for which the licence is issued. Relaxable in the case of temples, churches and mosque on some occasions. (3) Only Box type speaker should be used. (4) The volume should be such low that it is not heard outside the premises

    As per the above mentioned statement, the Mosque have a early Azan prayer between 4:30 / 6:30 am and for that they use loudspeakers.
    Have no respect for the law emplimented by supreme court.

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