The Supreme Court has expressed dissatisfaction over non-implementation of its 2005 directions issued to states to curb noise pollution, saying people’s fundamental rights should be “respected and preserved”.
“In our considered view, the Constitution, inter alia, casts a duty on the State and their authorities to ensure that every citizen’s cherished rights guaranteed to him under the Constitution are respected and preserved, and he/she is allowed to enjoy them in letter and spirit subject to reasonable restrictions put on them, as dreamt by the framers of the Constitution,” a bench of justices Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla and Ahay Manohar Sapre said.
The apex court, in 2005, had issued a slew of directions to restrict the use of loudspeakers, bursting crackers and other things to curb noise pollution in the country.
“The noise level at the boundary of the public place, where loudspeaker or public address system or any other noise source is being used shall not exceed 10 dB (A) above the ambient noise standards for the area or 75 dB(A) whichever is lower.
“No one shall beat a drum or tom-tom or blow a trumpet or beat or sound any instrument or use any sound amplifier at night (between 10.00 p.m. and 6 a.m.) except in public emergencies,” some of the directions had said.
The court referred to the earlier directions and sought their implementation by state governments while disposing of a plea of Balwant Singh, a former DGP of Rajasthan who has been facing all kind of nuisances from protesters as his residence is near the Vidhan Sabha at Jaipur.
“We note with concern that though the aforesaid directions were issued by this court on 18.07.2005 for ensuring compliance by all the states but it seems that these directions were not taken note of much less implemented, at least, by the state of Rajasthan in letter and spirit with the result that the residents of Jaipur city had to suffer the nuisance of noise pollution apart from other related peculiar issues mentioned above so far as the appellant’s case is concerned,” it said.