The Madras High Court has made it clear that religious institutions should adhere to the law in the matter of use of cone-type speakers and directed authorities to ensure full compliance by June 21 of the DGP s instructions based on a Supreme Court directive.
The first bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M M Sundresh, was passing further interim orders on a PIL filed by S Kumaravelu of Perambur for a direction to the government and police to strictly implement a Supreme Court order dated July 18, 2005.
The apex court had placed restrictions on the usage of cone-type speakers.
When the matter came up recently, the Advocate General A L Somayaji submitted that about 18 religious institutions had agreed to implement the DGP's order and some other institutions sought time.
The bench in its order said, "part compliance has taken place. Full compliance should take place by the next date. We, however, make it clear that it is the question of enforcement of law and not the violators agreeing among themselves to take their own sweet time. Full compliance should take place by June 21."
It reitereated its oral observation that religious institutions perceive that "the blessing of God cannot be obtained unless there is loud noise by using Cone Horns".
On March 28, the court had directed 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 the Tamil Nadu DGP in a letter.
Noting that prayers of all religions had been going on for centuries even when electricity did not exist, the bench had 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 authorities to carry out inspections of all the 44 places mentioned in the affidavit and ensure compliance with what the DGP had stated in his letter.
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