HC asks top cop: Why no action against noise pollution
The affidavit, filed by IPS officer Manjunath Shinge, informed the bench that while in Girgaum, the local police had received 22 complaints, it had taken action in most of the cases.
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the Mumbai Police Commissioner to file an affidavit explaining the reasons for the inaction over rampant noise norms violations in the city. A bench of Justices A S Oka and A S Gadkari also directed the commissioner to explain in the affidavit the action that he proposes to take against those officers, who failed to act against the violators in the past, despite an existing HC order mandating that prompt action be taken against such people.
The court was hearing public interest litigation filed by Awaaz Foundation about the violation of noise rules. The police had filed two affidavits in compliance with a previous HC order over noise violations at Girgaum Chowpatty during the immersion of Ganesh idols in September last year, and in Khar during Eid celebrations in November last year.
The affidavit, filed by IPS officer Manjunath Shinge, informed the bench that while in Girgaum, the local police had received 22 complaints, it had taken action in most of the cases. However, some mandals associated with political parties had continued to use loudspeakers and violate noise norms even beyond midnight.
In case of noise pollution in Khar, the police said in the affidavit, that officials had refrained from taking any strict action, such as confiscating the loudspeakers or music systems, as they anticipated "law and order" problems.
At this, the bench expressed surprise and asked how the police "whose job it was to maintain law and order, could claim helplessness and refrain from taking action in the name of law and order?"
"How can the police express helplessness? It seems apparent that the officer has simply filed the affidavits without giving any reasons for inaction. Why were the violators not booked after complaints were received? We want the police commissioner to explain this," the bench said.
"He shall personally file an affidavit not just giving an explanation but, also informing this court if the action he proposes to take against its own officers who failed to take action," it said. It has now directed the commissioner to file the affidavit by March 2 this year.
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