The Madras High Court today warned that high decibel cone speakers used in religious places, including mosques, would be seized by authorities if volume levels are not kept within the limit prescribed by the Supreme Court.
First bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice R Mahadevan made the observation on a PIL by a city resident seeking a direction to the government and police to strictly implement the July 18, 2005 order of the Supreme Court placing restrictions on use of cone speakers.
When the matter came up for hearing, the bench impleaded the Federation of Mosque and Shariath Protection Forum, Chennai, as the fourth respondent to assist the court.
Counsel R Abdul Mubeen, who appeared on behalf of the forum, said post the month of Ramzan, they will ask the muthavallis (mosque officials) to ensure that the law of the land was observed and the prescribed decibel level was not exceeded.
Recording the assurance, the bench in its order said: "Keeping in mind this assurance, we are for the time being not extending the active action against the other mosques."
However, the bench after perusing a report filed by Assistant IG of Police on action taken against various religious institutions for non-compliance, said they should be forthwith advised by the fourth respondent to comply within the next three days to ensure that the decibel level are kept within limits.
"If still compliance does not take place, the authorities would have to seize the offending speakers," it said, posting the matter to July 19 for further hearing.
According to petitioner, the noise pollution caused by the cone type speakers during religious and other festivals early in the morning, was highly disturbing.
He had lodged complaints with the local police on several occasions but there was no action. Hence, the present PIL was filed to implement the Supreme Court order.
The police report said out of the 41 places identified earlier, as many as 24 had already complied with the rules.
Out of the remaining 17 religious institutions, it was stated that cases had already been registered, as also against one institution, which was non-compliant, in Thiruvallur District. Two institutions here had removed the offending speakers after cases were filed against them.