Contempt notice to Home department officer for breach of HC order

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday issued contempt notice to Additional Chief Secretary (Home) K P Bakshi for breach of its order relating to procurement of decibel meters for the police to ensure no violation of noise pollution rules during festivals, processions and other events.

A division bench, headed by Justice A S Oka, had in January this year asked the state's Home department to procure 1,843 decibel meters and provide the same to all police stations in compliance with the provisions of the noise pollution rules. The bench was today informed that the government has not taken any step to comply with its January order.

"There is complete failure on the part of the state government to comply with directions relating to procurement of the decibel meters," Justice Oka said. The bench issued contempt notice against Bakshi for "wilful and deliberate" breach of the HC's order and directed him to file his reply.

The HC then posted the matter for hearing in June. The court noted that the government has also not complied with its order of directing police officers in all police stations to conduct random checks on the noise levels in places where public address system has been allowed and where complaints have been received of high noise levels.

In its order in January, the high court had directed the government to procure 1,843 decibel meters and supply it to the police within three months.

The court was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations seeking implementation of noise pollution rules and regulations.

While hearing the petitions, the HC today emphasised that nobody, including the petitioners', intervenors and respondent parties, should bring religion into the issue.

"Loudspeakers are there everywhere. This court has in its earlier orders also made it clear that the orders passed by us apply to all citizens irrespective of their religious affiliations," Justice Oka said.

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