Though no religion permits the breaking of laws, a flagrant violation of noise pollution rules still continue in the name of religion, the Bombay high court said on Wednesday.
The observation came while the division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Amjad Sayed were ruling on several petitions raising concerns over the increasing noise pollution and lack of enforcement of Noise Pollution Rules,2000.
“Notwithstanding several detailed orders by this court, there is large-scale violation of Noise Pollution Rules, especially during religious festivals,” said the bench. Reiterating that these rules were applicable to all religions, the court said that noise rules were violated with impunity during political rallies and meetings.
“Despite court orders, the state government has not taken any steps to enforce the rules,” said the bench, adding, “There is complete neglect in this regard. Perhaps the executive is not supported by their political bosses.”
“We are a secular state,” said the judges. “In a state like Maharashtra, which has had eminent freedom fighters, philosophers and national leaders,the interim orders of the court ought to have been implemented,” they said, adding, “It is unfortunate that in this progressive state, home of the father of the Constitution, this court has to spend time enforcing Noise Pollution Rules and protecting the fundamental rights of citizens.”
One of the Public Interest Litigations (PILs) had been filed by Thane-based activist, Dr. Mahesh Bedekar. He complained that rules were not complied with during festivals such as Ganeshotsav, Navratri and Dahi Handi. He added that there was a lack of action by authorities, even if complaints were lodged.
Other PILs detailed noise pollution emanating from vehicular traffic, horns, noise crackers and the public celebration of religious festivals.
The bench said it will continue its judgment on Thursday.