The Bombay High Court Tuesday asked the state to explain how Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) was given permission to use loudspeakers for an April 8 Gudi Padwa function at Shivaji Park, which is a silence zone.
The court asked the MNS if it was willing to give an undertaking that it would not violate noise pollution rules. In response to this, its counsel V A Thorat said, “I have been given instructions that undertakings in such circumstances cannot be given as they are public gatherings. Moreover, we are not using loudspeakers, but a sound distribution system, which produces lesser sound.”
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Thorat gave examples of other areas, including the area around Shivaji Park, where noise pollution rules had been violated, to which Justice A S Oka said, “I am sure there is violation of noise pollution rules, but that is not a justification to aggravate the situation further.”
Wecom, a trust of residents around Shivaji Park, had recently moved the Bombay High Court against the use of loudspeakers for the function. The lawyer appearing for the trust said they had no grievance against giving permission for the event, but loudspeakers are not allowed to be used here. “Satisfy us how the permission could be granted by the police when use of loudspeaker is prohibited in a silence zone,”said Justice Oka.
The counsel appearing for MNS general secretary Nitin Sardesai said noise pollution rules had previously been relaxed for such occasions, but the court pointed out this was not the case.
The matter has been posted for hearing on Wednesday.