OBSERVING THAT the Mumbai Police had filed affidavits in court but done little else to act against noise pollution in the city, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the police commissioner to file an affidavit by March 4, stating what action has been taken to deal with rampant violation of noise pollution norms.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Awaaz Foundation and others, raising the issue of noise pollution during various religious festivals. A Division Bench of Justice A S Oka and Justice A S Gadkari also directed the police commissioner to explain the action he proposes to take against officers who have not taken any action despite court orders.
The police on Wednesday filed two affidavits in compliance with a High Court order over noise pollution norms violations at Girgum Chowpatty during immersion of Ganesh idols and at Khar during Eid celebrations last year.
An affidavit filed by Deputy Commissioner of Police Manjunath Singe stated that in 12 out of 22 complaints received at Girgaum, no action was taken by the police. It added that the police had shut the loudspeakers of most of mandals during immersion processions, but mandals associated with political parties continued to use them and violated noise norms even beyond midnight. To this, the bench said that no reason has been stated by the officers on why action was not taken against them.
It also observed that apart from filing affidavits, the police have not taken any action as such. The court said that the IPS officer has not bothered to read the previous judgments and no explanation has been provided on the repeated noise norms violations.
In case of noise pollution in Khar, the police told the court through an affidavit that officers had refrained from taking any strict action, as they anticipated “law and order” problems. The bench then directed the police commissioner to file an affidavit by March 4.