Karnataka HC to state govt: Act against use of loudspeakers at night

Licences are issued under Rule 5(1) of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, read with Section 37 of the Karnataka Police Act 1963. 

Published: 18th June 2022 02:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th June 2022 02:43 AM   |  A+A-

Karnataka High Court

Karnataka High Court (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court on Friday directed the state government to conduct a drive and take action against use of loudspeakers or public address systems by religious institutions, pubs, bars and restaurants between 10pm and 6am, by misusing the licence granted to them. 

A division bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Ashok S Kinagi passed the order after hearing two public interest litigations filed in 2020. Before this, the state government filed a report stating that no permanent licence is issued for use of loudspeakers. Licences are issued under Rule 5(1) of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, read with Section 37 of the Karnataka Police Act 1963. 

The court noted that as per the stand of the respondents -- Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary, Home Department, and Director General and Inspector General of Police -- it is very clear that loudspeakers, etc, are not permitted from 10pm and 6am, except under circumstances provided in the rules. 

The court also noted that “we have been informed that loudspeakers are being used in religious institutions like mosques, temples, gurudwaras, churches, etc. Hence, authorities are required to take action against those using loudspeakers during night hours, 10pm to 6am. The respondents should carry out a drive to prevent misuse of licence.”

The government advocate told the court that rules do not impose any restriction on use of loudspeakers between 6am and 10pm, except specifying the noise levels for different areas.  The government informed the court that a circular was issued on May 10, 2022, for enforcement of rules. Licence for use of loudspeakers has been granted for two years, and has to be renewed.


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