Bombay HC questions imposing total ban on DJs & Dolby sound systems in Maharashtra
The Bombay High Court Wednesday sought to know from the Maharashtra government as to why there is a blanket ban on DJs and Dolby Sound systems across the state.
The court was hearing a plea by Professional Audio and Lighting Association (PALA), owners of sound and light rental companies, seeking to lift the prohibition/ban on use of Dolby sound system/DJ system in Maharashtra during Ganesh immersion processions and on other occasions.
After the bench was informed by a state government lawyer that Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) had been issued under the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, the court asked the government to inform it about the source of power for imposing such a “drastic condition” and sought an affidavit in reply before the next hearing.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Makarand was hearing the plea which also sought guidelines and regulations, within the ambit of which the use of sound systems shall be permissible. On Tuesday, the bench had asked advocate Madhavi Ayyappan for the petitioner to inform it as to why the grievances could not be raised before the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
The petitioner said that at least 27,000 people were part of the industry and their livelihood depends on this business, and if there is any breach, police can take action against them but why ban it. The petitioner also said that the state’s claim that DJ increases the noise level is completely absurd.
However, Wednesday, the bench perused the SOPs issued by the Maharashtra Police which stipulated a ban on the use of DJ system and decided to hear the plea and decide by itself.
CJ Datta orally asked the state, “How can you impose a total ban? How can you go beyond the Noise pollution Rules? Should not you first wait for a complaint, verify the same and then stop the individual instead of a blanket ban?”
Advocate Akshay Shinde, representing state government, said that SOP has been issued as per Rule 5 of the Noise Pollution Control Rules, and all such details will be included in the affidavit in reply to be filed by the government.
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