Medical students at King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital and the Seth GS Medical College took a leaf out of Munnabhai MBBS on Friday when they organised a party complete with a DJ and loud music — within the premises of the hospital. Clearly no one had told the budding docs that a Supreme Court directive has clearly said loudspeakers should not be allowed to operate within 100 meters of silence zones such as hospitals, educational institutions and courts.
In the end it was left to the local Bhoiwada police to play spoil sport and tell the merry revellers to sleep it off. Taking serious congnisance of the fact that future doctors seemed to have little regard for the medical condition of patients staying at the hospital, who might be more than just ‘disturbed’ by the noise, the cops arrested one person but later released him after issuing a fine of Rs 12,500.
On Friday night around 7.50 pm, Sunil Tondwalkar, a senior police inspector at the Bhoiwada police station, was on his evening rounds when he heard loud music being played inside the hospital premises. On entering the hospital, they arrested one Kiran Manubhai Solanki -- who was at the campus as a guest DJ. He was however, released after he paid a fine of Rs 12,500 to recover his seized equipment. “We have fined Solanki under Sections 33R (playing loud music without permission) and 131 (penalty for contravening rules) of the Mumbai police act,” said Tondwalkar.
Welcome party for new batch
According to hospital sources, the second-year medical students had organised a get-together to welcome the new students. “They usually hold these events on the hospital’s terrace but this time it was held on the hospital lawns, just behind the dean’s office,” said a source. Cops said more than 200 medical interns and senior students were a part of the revelries. “They were singing and dancing and the DJ was playing loud music. However, we did not find any alcohol. They were serving only soft beverages,” a policeman who was part of the raid said.This is not KEM’s first brush with a similar controversy. “Just last year the neighbouring BJ Wadia Hospital officials had complained against KEM hospital staff for playing music on loudspeakers and creating huge problems for the patients at their hospital,” said a police officer.
Supreme Court guideline
The Apex court guidelines in this regard, are clear. Loudspeakers should not be allowed to operate in silence zones i.e. within 100 metres of hospitals, nursing homes, educational institutions and courts. The directive also bans use of loudspeakers between 10 pm and 6 am and says the decibel level at no time should exceed 10 dB above the ambient noise standards for the area, or 75dB, whichever is lower.
The other side
When contacted however, KEM officials said the students had done no wrong and the cops had acted in a high-handed manner. “All of us teachers as well as the students are upset with the way in which the police acted. This was a welcome party for new MBBS students. The students had submitted a prior intimation letter to the police in this regard and also sought the permission of Wadia hospital. The party was being held within the campus of the medical college and not inside the hospital itself,” said Dr Shubhangi Parkar, acting dean of KEM hospital. Dr Parkar however, admitted that the venue was within100 metres of the hospital.