The Bengaluru police have issued notice to at least 310 entities, including places of worship, commercial establishments, and industries, for defying court orders and using loudspeakers during banned hours between 10 pm and 6 am.
According to the reports, the Bengaluru police have issued notices to notices to 125 mosques, 83 temples, 22 churches, and 59 commercial establishments, including pubs and bars, for using loudspeakers during banned hours or crossing the limit of 60 decibels of the noise level.
Last year, in April 2021, the Karnataka High Court had pulled up authorities for their failure to regulate the illegal use of loudspeakers at places of worship.
Kamal Pant, Bengaluru City Police Commissioner, said that they have registered over 40 cases for violating a Supreme Court order banning the use of loudspeakers during certain hours.
“We strictly enforce the SC order and regularly monitor places of worship, factories, industries, pubs, bars and commercial establishments,” Pant said, adding that everyone should obey the court order.
Another senior police officer said that the police patrol checks the illegal use of loudspeakers.
According to the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, there are restrictions on using loudspeakers or public address systems, except for using them after obtaining written permission from the authority. There is a ban on loudspeaker or public address systems at night between 10 pm and 6 am, except in closed premises for communication within auditoria, conference rooms, community halls and banquet halls.
Action against loudspeakers comes amidst the Azaan row
This drive against the illegal usage of loudspeakers comes amidst a growing call by Hindu activists and organisations to enforce a ban on the use of loudspeakers in mosques. Loudspeakers have sprung up across Islamic places of worship, which are used to blare Azaan, the call to prayer, five times a day.
The inappropriate usage of loudspeakers to broadcast Azaan has led to severe noise pollution affecting the lives of many across the country. There has been a growing demand to ban loudspeakers in religious places in the last few years.
Recently, some Hindu groups have started to protest against the loudspeaker Azan by playing the Hanuman Chalisa through loudspeakers in the morning. Hindu activist and Sri Rama Sene chief Pramod Muthalik warned that if the government failed to remove loudspeakers from all the mosques, they would intensify their protest by singing bhajans using loudspeakers in temples.