The Bombay High Court today asked the Maharashtra government and local civic body to take action in accordance with law against organisers of a recent rally by Raj Thackeray-led MNS at Shivaji Park, a silence zone, as it “prima facie” found that rules on noise level were violated.
A division bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka also issued contempt notice to Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader Nitin Sardesai who had sought permission for using loud speakers at the rally which was organised on April 8 on the occasion of Gudi Padwa
“Prima facie we find that there is a breach of rules and accordingly we issue contempt notice to the respondents,” said the bench while perusing a report filed by the state government on the noise pollution levels during the rally.
The report was tabled before the high court by Public Prosecutor Purnima Kantharia who said that the assurance given by MNS to adhere to the noise level rules had been violated.
The High Court, on April 6, had allowed the rally but warned the party organisers against violating the noise levels prescribed under the rules.
The HC had also asked the state government on previous occasion to monitor the noise levels during the MNS rally at Shivaji Park and file a report.
After perusing the report, the high court found that there was a gross breach of rules and described it as “a deliberate act.” Despite warning the party, the rules had been violated, the bench said today.
The court observed that the noise level in morning hours was 88 decibels while in the evening it rose to 114 decibels.
“The high noise levels during evening hours could have been avoided if the musicial instruments were not played.
MNS, however, argued that the noise levels at any given point of time at Shivaji Park are high and that it had no control over the same.
The bench said that when it had passed orders on April 6, it had asked the party to maintain the permissible noise levels and the court had assumed that its orders would be complied with. “Now, prima facie, we find that there is a gross breach of rules with a deliberate intention.”
Lawyer V A Thorat said MNS had not received the report of the state government and sought time to file a response.
The Prosecutor handed over to Thorat a copy of report after which the High Court deferred the matter to June 24. After hearing all the parties, the high court issued contempt notice against MNS organisers and asked the state and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to take action against the offenders.