The Shivaji Park police has registered an FIR against 75 year-old Shiv Sena leader Diwakar Borkar for exceeding the decibel limits at Shivaji Park, a silence zone, during the party’s Dussehra rally on Wednesday.
MiDDAY was the first to report that the rally had flouted the guidelines laid down by the Bombay High Court, with noise levels touching nearly 98dB. The Sena had been allowed to host the rally at Shivaji Park, now a silence zone, on condition that noise levels in the periphery of the park would not exceed 50dB (‘Sena’s Dussehra rally breaks 50db sound barrier’, October 25).
A sub-inspector at Shivaji Park police station lodged a complaint stating that the Shiv Sena used “large loudspeakers” and flouted provisions of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000. The Bombay High Court guidelines had directed the Shiv Sena to use ‘distributed sound systems’ with ‘low-wattage speakers.’ The complaint also states that the organisers flouted provisions made to them by the police. Flouting the rules invites a maximum imprisonment of five years and a fine of Rs one lakh.
The case, involving Shiv Sena and permissions for the ground, has been scheduled to be heard once again tomorrow.
The rally, which was held on October 24, saw Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray address the gathering via a pre-recorded message. Apart from the party chief, Uddhav Thackeray and Mayor Sunil Prabhu also delivered speeches.
According to the police, the decibel levels during the speeches were between 65 and 105 db. Shiv Sena secretary and MLC Vinayak Raut had told MiDDAY they had done their best to adhere to court orders.
The Shiv Sena has been organising the rally at Shivaji Park since decades. In 2010, the area was declared a silence zone, after which they have had to seek the court’s permission to hold rallies there. From next year, the rally is likely to be moved to the MMRDA grounds at BKC.