The Bombay High Court at Goa recently imposed costs of ₹10,000 on a resort that claimed that Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa played loud music Through the learned bench consisting of Justices Mahesh Sonak and RN Laddha in the case of Villa Calangute Resort Pvt Ltd v. State of Goa (WRIT PETITION NO.407 OF 2022)
FACTS OF THE CASE:
The Authority, which issued the show-cause notice, will address the inventive defence that “Alexa” or a resort visitor was playing music (to the resort). However, we firmly feel that the petitioner cannot impose the burden on its customers or, worse yet, Alexa. If such defences are accepted, the division bench of Justices Mahesh Sonak and RN Laddha observed, it will be extremely difficult for the authorities to enforce the noise pollution rules.
The Bench added that invoking such initially flimsy defences could not prevent the Noise Pollution Rules from being put into effect.
OBSERVATION OF THE COURT:
The Bench noted that the resort had been accused of breaking the Noise Pollution Rules and frequently playing loud music after midnight. It stated that the authorities will make a decision regarding the resort’s argument when they heard the show cause notices.
The bench opined, “Unless the petitioner places on record any permissions authorising it to play music at these hours, it cannot be said that the show-cause notices are vague or bereft of any particulars. As it is, monitoring issues of noise pollution is quite difficult. There is a record about several complaints against the petitioner“. Therefore, the judges said that the petition seems to be misconceived and dismissed it with costs of Rs 10,000
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Judgement reviewed by – Sudarshana Jha