Bombay High Court Refuses To Lift Ban On DJs, Dolby Speakers In Festivals


The Bombay High Court on Friday refused to lift the blanket ban on use of DJ and high-volume sound systems during the Ganesh Chaturthi and Navaratri festivals.

A bench led by justice Shantanu Kemkar denied interim relief to the petitioner, Professional Audio and Lighting Association.

The bench said the association cannot use DJ systems and high volume sound systems in violation of noise norms during Ganpati immersion and Navratri.

“We understand the situation of both parties and are not against festival celebration, but it should not become a nuisance. However, we cannot lift a blanket ban and grant general permission at this interim stage,” the court said.

The bench also directed the state government to file an affidavit explaining its policy that warrants a blanket ban on the use of high output sound systems.

A home ministry circular and orders issued by police had said DJ is a source of sound pollution, and refused to issue licences on the ground that DJ/ sound systems are prohibited under the orders of the High Court and the Supreme Court.

The petitioners have alleged the authorities are taking action against people who are found in possession of DJ system without measuring the actual noise level, and they are neither equipped nor trained to gauge the noise level.

The petition also stresses that the present noise level is much higher than that of the maximum permissible limit under the Noise Pollution Rules of 2000.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) told the Bombay High Court on Friday that there are no illegal Ganesh pandals in the island city.

In an affidavit submitted before a bench of justices, A S Oka and M S Sonak, the BMC refuted the claims made by the state government on the issue before the bench on a previous hearing.

The state government told the bench that there existed around 314 illegal pandals in the city and its suburbs, on the last hearing on Wednesday.

BMC counsel Anil Sakhre, however, told the court that the state had been mistaken.

He said that surveys conducted across the city and suburbs by the civic body had revealed that there were no illegal pandals in the island city.

However, there were 79 illegal pandals in the suburbs, Mr Sakhre said.

According to him, the BMC had already demolished 20 of these illegal pandals and similar action was pending against the remaining illegal ones.

The bench was hearing a bunch of petitions seeking strict implementation of noise pollution rules in the state and also action against illegal pandals erected during the festivals.

On the last hearing, the state said that inspections conducted recently by various municipal corporations across Maharashtra had revealed that several pandals had been constructed in violation of municipal rules and noise pollution norms.

The bench has now directed the state to explain the discrepancy in the figures from Mumbai and its suburbs.

It has also directed 11 other municipal corporations from across the state to inform the court about the steps taken against unauthorised pandals ahead of the Ganpati festival.

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