Seeking a report from Mohali police on loud music played at the marriage function of a councillor’s son for two consecutive nights last week, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has taken a suo motu note of the
amplified music being played at wedding venues and private farm houses in Panchkula and Mohali, situated on the outskirts of Chandigarh.
Stating that it a known fact that these places belong to “big and mighty” and “lower-rung” police officers are afraid to act against them, despite the violations of noise pollution rules, Justice G S Sandhawalia, in a reference to the High Court Chief Justice, has said that it has become necessary to take the suo motu note.
Referring particularly to the happenings of November 15 and November 16, Justice Sandhawalia has said that the Chandigarh Police expressed its helplessness to take action against the amplified music being played at Naya Gaon and Kansal villages in Mohali, Saketri in Panchkula and Kaimbwala village in Chandigarh, despite a number of complaints by the residents, on account of lack of jurisdiction.
“Efforts to adhere to the timing were made to the organiser(s) who was stated to be Ms Taranjit Kaur, Muncipal Councillor of Kansal, whose son was getting married and whose function was being held,” the note reads.
In a strong observation on the non-compliance of norms, the judge has written that the issue therefore arises that “who will guard the guardians” and whether such elected representatives or officers are beyond any control and have total disregard for other citizens of the country and the wildlife, which is sensitive to such loud noises.
Stating that it has been held that no one can claim a right to such music, which travels beyond an individual’s precincts and cause nuisance to neighbours, Justice Sandhawalia has said that the directions passed by the apex court are being flouted with impunity in Punjab and Haryana. Requesting the Chief Justice to initiate proceedings under the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) jurisdiction on the issue, the judge has said the “nuisance levels” are likely to increase in the forthcoming marriage season.
The court has, however, noted that the Chandigarh Administration has been able to enforce the noise control norms by reacting actively on the complaints and ensuring that no amplified music is allowed to come out of the public places or private farms houses beyond 10.00 pm.
“However, specially the states of Punjab and Haryana seem to be lacking in having effective control over this aspect. It is a known fact that farm houses of the big and mighty are situated in these villages and the lower police officials are shy of enforcing the directions on account of the high connections of the persons who are organising such get-togethers and who own such places,” the note written by Justice Sandhawalia reads.
While directing the Chandigarh senior superintendent of police (SSP) to file an affidavit on how many complaints were received from the residents on November 15 and November 16 regarding the loud music, he has been asked to explain in it as to what effort was made to send an appropriate communication to his Mohali counterpart. The Mohali police officers, including the SSP and Naya Gaon station house officer (SHO), also have been asked to file an affidavit on the action taken on the complaints.
“Similarly, the SHO of concerned villages in the State of Punjab shall also file an affidavit giving details as to where the loud music was emanating from, and the organiser who held the functions on the said two dates and what was the response by the said organiser or the person arranging the functions on the requests received to shut down the music after 10.00 pm, so that appropriate action can be recommended,” the note reads.The reference has been sent to the Chief Justice and the PIL on it is most likely to come up for hearing next week. The order seeking the response have been sent in advance to the states and Chandigarh.