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  Metros   Mumbai  02 Sep 2017  Bombay High Court stays govt's silence zone gazette

Bombay High Court stays govt's silence zone gazette

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Sep 2, 2017, 2:18 am IST
Updated : Sep 2, 2017, 3:39 am IST

The high court bench has kept the matter for further hearing on October 6.

Bombay High Court
 Bombay High Court

Mumbai: The Bombay high court has put a stay on the Central government's recent gazette that gave the states the power to notify/denotify silence zones.

The HC said the Centre’s amendments in noise pollution rule is ‘unconstitutional’. As a result of the HC’s Friday stay, the city’s 1,537 silence zones are again in vogue.

 

The HC had in August 2016 given the 1,537 locations — including hospitals, schools and colleges — the status of silence zones. The HC has also directed the state to register FIRs against noise violators henceforth.

The high court bench has kept the matter for further hearing on October 6.

A special larger bench comprising Justice Abhay Oka, Justice Anup Mohata and Justice Riyaz Chagala was hearing a petition-challenging changes made by Central government in the Noise Pollution Rule 2000,  under which the Centre removed all silence zones in the Maharashtra. n Turn to Page 4

It gave powers to the state government to decide silence zone.

 

Therefore, from August 10 the state did not have any silence zone. On last hearing, advocate general Ashutosh Kumbhakoni argued that state government is not against the silence zone. “We want comprehensive order of HC should be implement in practical manner, therefore state government will determine the area’s of silence zone,” he said.

Additional solicitor general Anil Singh denied that purpose of the amendment was to rub off the HC 2016 Judgement. “If the state government is not exercising its powers to re-declare silence zones how can that be a ground to challenge the Centres policy?” Mr Singh argued.

Chief general prosecutor Abhinandan Vagyani who represented state government argued that while giving permission to play loudspeakers during Ganesh festival, the state has kept in mind the HC’s 2016 order. It states that 100 meters of educational institute, hospitals, and religious places will remain silence zone.

 

The court held that the Centre and the state had failed to publish prior notification and invite objections from citizens before making the amendment. “This was contrary to the requirements of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, and public interest,” the judges said.

“If we were to accept the Centre and the state’s arguments, then as of today there are no silence zones in the city. One can begin using loudspeakers even within 5-10 metres of a hospital or court. This is violation of Articles 21 and 14 of the Constitution, especially in the light of the Supreme Court’s order upholding that a citizen cannot be compelled to listen,” the bench said.

 

Tags: bombay high court, silence zones
Location: India, Maharashtra, Mumbai (Bombay)