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Noise over silence zones:  Larger bench of Bombay HC to hear PILs

The bench had told the Maharashtra government that it could not accept Mumbai having no silence zones

mumbai Updated: Aug 28, 2017 11:17 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Bombay high court,silence zones,Ganpati
The Maharashtra government informed the court that there was no ‘silence zones’ across the state.(HT File)

A full bench of the Bombay High Court is set to hear two public interest litigations (PIL) that question Maharashtra not having ‘silence zones’, an issue over which there was a lot of noise last week. From August 24 onwards, the court had seen unprecedented scenes after the Maharashtra government accused a sitting senior judge, Abhay Oka, of being biased against it on the issue of noise norms and said he should recuse himself.

The bench of Justice Oka and Justice Riyaz Chagla, while hearing two PILs, had told the state that it could not accept Mumbai having no silence zones.

This was after the Maharashtra government informed the bench that there was no ‘silence zones’ across the state. It also meant that Mumbai stood to loose 1,537 silence zones. It also meant that there would be no silence zones near schools, colleges, hospitals, courts and religious shrines.

The central government brought into force an amendment to the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, which made individual states responsible for specifically notifying these zones on August 10. The Maharashtra government had failed to notify silent zones in the state.

Justice Oka who refused to recuse himself from the case and instead said ‘We are glad that the state acted like an ordinary litigant.’ But the state’s representation saw the Chief Justice Manjula Chellur transfer the litigation to a different bench.

The Advocates’ Associations condemned the tactics of Maharashtra government. The Chief Justice has now constituted a full bench with Justice Oka, Justice Chagla and Justice Anoop Mohta to hear the petitions.

First Published: Aug 28, 2017 11:17 IST