The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the Mumbai Police to permit public functions that only use the distributive sound system (DSS) and not loudspeakers. Accepting the suggestion put forward by activist Sumaira Abdulali of the Awaaz Foundation,Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice R V More said while granting permission to hold a public event,the police should ensure that only DSS is used.
The DSS has an advantage over the traditional loudspeaker systems in as much as if the loudspeakers are kept at short distance from each other,the sound is controlled at a low volume which is pleasingly audible,even without being unpleasantly audible to the audience seated near the loudspeakers, an affidavit filed in court by Abdulali stated. In such a case,the sound would not travel beyond the boundary limits intended for the audience as the loudspeakers would be at a low volume, the affidavit adds.
Blaring loudspeakers may well be a thing of the past after the courts order is implemented. Abdulali said this may bring about a positive change in the way public functions are conducted,as the sound would not disturb the locality in which the event is being organised.
The courts direction came on a petition filed by Raja Shivaji Vidyalaya,also known as King George School,Dadar,that had initially sought permission to hold its centenary celebrations on the school grounds on March 13. The school was granted permission in an interim order.
The Indian Education Society (IES) that runs the school had approached the court challenging an order of the senior inspector of the Matunga police station,which barred them from holding any functions on its grounds stating that the area,Hindu Colony,is a silence zone.
The IES contended that though an area may be declared a silence zone on account of the presence of a school,the premises of the school itself cannot be said to be silence zone. Their counsel Raju Subramanian argued that holding assemblies or sports events on the school ground had become difficult because of the order.