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The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court Tuesday asked the state government whether written permission is obtained from the relevant authority before loudspeakers are installed atop religious structures like mosques, temples and gurdwaras, as well as in public places. A divisional bench of Justices Vikram Nath and Abdul Moin made the query while hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by advocate Moti Lal Yadav last month seeking direction to remove all loudspeakers and public address systems from temples, mosques, churches and gurdwaras to curb noise pollution. The petitioner has also sought direction to ensure enforcement of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, in the state.
“The use of loudspeakers has engaged the attention of various courts, right up to the Hon’ble Supreme Court, since the last few decades and despite various orders having been passed in this regard, the said issue still continues to engage the attention of the courts of law,” the bench said.
It further said, “This is primarily arising on account of the inaction and lack of accountability on the part of officials required for enforcement of the 2000 Rules, and despite various orders having been passed by the courts of law, the 2000 Rules are being flouted with impunity.”
The bench directed the principal secretary (home) and chairman of the UP Pollution Control Board to file personal affidavits explaining what steps were taken to enforce the rules and clarify whether loudspeakers installed over religious structures and public places were set up after obtaining written permission. If not, they must explain what action was taken for removal of the same,and against the concerned officials.
Moti Lal Yadav told The Indian Express, “I prayed before the court that since Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, are not being followed , students preparing for examination, old and infirm citizens are suffering due to incessant noise attacking their hearing and