The Karnataka High Court has directed the state government to ensure that loudspeakers are not used at night between 10 pm and 6 am.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Ashok S Kinagi directed, "In view of the stand taken by the State Government-respondents, the concerning authorities are required to take appropriate action and they shall not permit the use of loudspeakers and public address system and other musical instruments producing sound above the permissible decibels during the night from 10.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m.".

The Court has also directed the Respondents to carry out a drive to prevent such misuse of loudspeakers and the public address systems and to submit the action taken report before the Court.

The Bench has adjourned the writ petition filed by one Rakesh P by three weeks.

the Additional Government Advocate told the Court that no permanent licence for the use of loudspeakers and public address system has been issued. The Court was told that the licence for the use of loudspeakers and public address system and sound-producing instruments is issued under Rule 5 (3) of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 read with Section 37 of the Karnataka Police Act, 1963.

The Court noted that from the stand of the state, it is clear that the loudspeakers and public address system are not permitted during night hours from 10.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m., except in the special circumstances where permission can be granted for the use of loudspeakers and public address system during night hours between 10.00 p.m. to 12.00 midnight on or during any cultural, religious or festive occasion of a limited duration not exceeding fifteen days in all during a calendar year.

"We have been informed that the loudspeakers are being used in religious places such as Temples, Mosques, Gurudwaras and Churches including the temples controlled by the Government and such other places as pubs and restaurants", the Court noted in its order.

On the last hearing, the state had informed the Court that the respondents who were playing the loudspeakers without licenses/permission have stopped playing all loudspeakers and they have removed the loudspeakers.

Click here to read/download Order