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Maharashtra to instruct police stations to protect identity of complainants who report noise pollution

The judges were irked to note that the city police have revealed the mobile number of a practicing advocate, who had lodged a complaint about noise pollution in November 2017.

mumbai Updated: Apr 04, 2018 10:11 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
mumbai news,maharashtra,noise pollution
(HT File/Representational Image )

The Maharashtra government on Tuesday assured the Bombay high court that a circular will be issued instructing all police stations to protect the identity of people who lodge complaints about noise pollution.

Assistant government pleader Manish Pabale assured the division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Riyaz Chagla that the director general of police will issue a circular directing all police stations to not disclose personal details of individuals lodging complaints about noise pollution.

“This (disclosing personal details of complainants) can have disastrous effects, if the identity of complainants is not protected and their personal details are disclosed to wrongdoers,” said the bench. “Otherwise, no one will come forward to lodging complaints,” it added.

The judges were irked to note that the city police have revealed the mobile number of a practicing advocate, who had lodged a complaint about noise pollution in November 2017, to the persons against whom he had complained. Pabale conceded that the police should not have disclosed the mobile number and other details of the complainant while answering a query made by the accused using provisions of the Right to Information Act, 2005.

The court was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations complaining about ever increasing menace of noise pollution, especially during public celebration of religious festivals and complete lack of action by the police and non-compliance with provisions of the Noise Pollution Regulations, 2000.

Acting on the PILs, the bench has earlier issued comprehensive direction, including protection of identity of complainants. “This direction has been issued with a specific objective to ensure that complainants are not required to face threat merely for lodging complaints about noise pollution,” said the bench.

First Published: Apr 04, 2018 10:11 IST