Cone speakers: Madras HC directs cops to take action against religious places violating norm

Chennai: The Madras High Court on Monday directed the police to carry out inspection of 44 religious places in the city, where cone type speakers making noise beyond permissible limit were allegedly being used and take action against violators of norms, as assured by Tamil Nadu DGP in a letter.

The First Bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M M Sundresh, passed the order on a petition by one S Kumaravelu who sought a direction to the government and the police to strictly implement the Supreme Court’s July 18, 2005 order placing restrictions on the usage of cone speakers.

It posted the matter to April 28 next for further hearing.

The bench referred to the affidavit of the petitioner in which he has given specific examples of at least 44 places “where the cone-type speakers were being used and decibel levels were beyond permissible limits.

“Unfortunately, they all relate to places of worhsip belonging to different religions, which perceive that the blessings of God cannot be obtained unless there was a loud noise,” it said.

Noting that prayers of all religions had been going on for centuries even when electricity did not exist, the Bench said “we see no reason why in view of the categorical judgment of the Honourable Supreme Court delivered in 2005 with respect to the noise pollution, there should be any violation whatsoever.”

Recording a letter by the DGP that action would be initiated against organisers of programmes in case of deviation from the norms, the court said more than enough time had lapsed since the apex court gave its order.

The bench directed the authorities to carry out inspection of all the 44 places metioned in the affidavit and ensure compliance with what the DGP had stated in his letter.

The petitioner has submitted that the noise pollution caused by cone-type speakers during religious and other festivals early in the morning was highly disturbing.

He had lodged complaints with the police on several occasions but to no avail.