The Bombay High Court rapped police for failing to initiate action against Shiv Sena MP Shrikant Shinde, accused of organising an event in which the noise pollution rules were allegedly flouted.
If Shinde was the organiser, why did the FIR not have his name, the court asked, while also asking the MP to make his stand clear.
The police in Thane district had registered a case pertaining to a function held at Ambarnath in May last year in which the noise pollution rules were allegedly breached.
But they did not invoke the Environment Protection Act which provides for a stringent punishment, nor did they name Shinde in the FIR, though he was, allegedly, the organiser.
The police registered a case under the Noise Pollution Rules against some other persons. The maximum punishment under these rules is a fine of Rs 200.
A division bench of justices A S Oka and Riyaz Chagla said the police lacked elementary knowledge of how to handle such cases.
“We keep passing orders and directions but the police are making a systematic effort to save the real culprit,” Justice Oka rued.
The publicity pamphlets of the function clearly mentioned that the organiser was “Shrikant Eknath Shinde,” so why his name did not figure in the FIR, the court asked.
“We think it is high time the state government take a stand that it is not interested in implementing the noise pollution rules strictly,” the judges quipped.
The bench sought to know if there is any prescribed procedure which the police have to follow in such cases.
The court also directed Shinde to file an affidavit.
“If you (Shinde) have organised the event, tell us how could you permit use of loud speakers at night being a member of Parliament. If you have nothing to do with the function, say so in an affidavit,” Justice Oka said.
The hearing was adjourned for two weeks.
Shrikant Shinde is the Sena MP from Kalyan near Mumbai. His father Eknath Shinde is a state Cabinet minister.
NGO Hirali Foundation had approached the high court, alleging that Ambernath police had committed a contempt of the court by ignoring its past directions to implement noise pollution rules strictly.