'Can't disqualify organisers who flouted noise norms in the past' | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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'Can't disqualify organisers who flouted noise norms in the past'

The government has no powers to disqualify organisers or individuals seeking loudspeaker licences, even if they have breached rules when granted licenses in the past, the state told the Bombay HC on Thursday.

mumbai Updated: Dec 04, 2014 21:52 IST
HT Correspondent

The government has no powers to disqualify organisers or individuals seeking loudspeaker licences, even if they have breached rules when granted licenses in the past, the state told the Bombay high court (HC) on Thursday.

The division bench of justice AS Oka and justice AS Gadkari was hearing a civil application as part of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Dr Mahesh Bedekar on noise pollution in Thane. The scope of the PIL was later expanded to cover all civic bodies.

“There is no provision under the law to disqualify any organisation/ applicant from obtaining loudspeaker licence in the future if it/ he has committed breaches of the terms and conditions of the license earlier,” said the affidavit filed by PV Mathadhikari, assistant commissioner of police, special branch, Thane. “It is respectfully submitted that it is necessary to amend the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, to impose the aforesaid condition while granting license.”

The court then sought to know what powers the licensing authorities have and what conditions they could impose on applicants.

“Go through the rules and tell us the powers of the officers to take steps,” said the bench. “We wonder, has power under Rule 8 [measures for prohibiting noise] ever been exercised?”

The petitioner’s counsel said no such examples came to mind. “Once the authorities are informed of a breach, setting of criminal law in motion must follow. There can’t be any option,” said the court.

The court also mulled the possibility of setting up a complaints number. “Why can’t there be a provision for toll-free number for receiving complaints and taking action,” the bench asked.

The state will have to respond to the queries put forth by the court when the matter will next be heard next Friday.

The state’s response

There is no provision under the law to disqualify any organisation/ applicant from obtaining loudspeaker licence in the future if it/ he has committed breaches of the terms and conditions of the license earlier, said the affidavit filed by PV Mathadhikari, assistant commissioner of police, special branch, Thane

The state will have to respond to the queries put forth by the court when the matter will next be heard next Friday.