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Supreme Court no to BJP plea on Bengal loudspeaker ban

SC dismissed West Bengal BJP unit’s plea questioning a 2013 state government notification that prohibits use of loudspeakers in residential and institutional areas for two months – February and March – ahead of school exams.

india Updated: Feb 11, 2019 23:48 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Bharatiya Janata party,India news,SC
Supreme Court.(Amal KS/HT PHOTO)

The Supreme Court dismissed on Monday West Bengal BJP unit’s plea questioning a 2013 state government notification that prohibits use of loudspeakers in residential and institutional areas for two months – February and March – ahead of school exams. “Children’s education is more important,” said the court while refusing to set aside the notification.

“Are you challenging the 2013 order ?” a bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the party. “We are not saying that you are coming late. This is the time when children are preparing for the exams. That’s more important,” the CJI told Rohatgi when he contended the notification comes into effect every year.

The grievance the BJP has with the notification is that the prohibition on use of loudspeakers will interfere with its freedom to canvass during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in May this year.

Rohatgi said a measure to curb noise pollution during exams was an important issue. “But this is also the time when I have to do my rallies and public meetings... A balance needs to be struck under Article 19 (1)(a) (freedom of speech and expression),” the senior advocate argued.

First Published: Feb 11, 2019 23:48 IST