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Calls for Vigil To Prevent Noise Pollution, “Sound Level Must Be Within Permissible Limit”: In Calcutta High Court

The Calcutta High Court has reaffirmed that loudspeaker, microphone, etc. sound levels must be within the permitted limit and that the Police must keep a general vigil to prevent public nuisance caused by noise pollution in the city.

In the case of Tarunmoy Modak v. The State of West Bengal & Ors. (W.P.A. No. 2026 of 2022), a single judge bench presided over by Honourable Justice Shampa Sarkar instructed the Inspector-in-Charge, Chinsura Police Station, to make sure that use of microphones, loudspeakers, and all musical instruments, whether for personal use or for the public’s amusement, as well as at public meetings, should be governed by the directives issued by the National Green Tribunal, the High Court, and the Honorable Apex Court.

Facts of the case:

The order was made in response to a petition from a retired bank employee who claimed that despite numerous complaints about the indiscriminate use of loudspeakers and microphones by some residents in the neighborhood where he lived, the local police authorities had taken no action. The petitioner argued that the police must intervene to stop such public nuisances brought on by noise pollution from loudspeakers without sound limiters blasting out loud music.

Court’s Findings:

The bench ruled that the restrictions must be imposed and the aforementioned rules must be adhered to. Additionally, it stated that the Principal Secretary to the Government of West Bengal, Department of Environment’s December 29, 2009 notification also needed to be followed. The Principal Secretary had stated through the aforementioned notification that using loudspeakers in open areas is only permitted between the hours of 6 AM and 10 PM if the appropriate permissions have been obtained from appropriate authorities. This notification also specified that sound limiters should be connected to amplifiers to control noise level and that microphones used in open spaces should not exceed the permissible ambient noise level as specified by the Government of India under the Environment Protection Act, 1986.

The court also ordered that a vigil be kept in the area to guard against noise pollution in general.

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Judgement Reviewed By Manju Molakalapalli.

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