Decibel meters: HC warns of aggravated contempt action against

Decibel meters: HC warns of aggravated contempt action against
Decibel meters: HC warns of aggravated contempt action against

The Bombay High Court today warned of “aggravated contempt” action against Maharashtra government’s Additional Chief Secretary (Home) K P Bakshi if the state fails to procure meters to measure noise levels by November this year.

A division bench of Justices A S Oka and A A Sayed had in May this year issued contempt notice against Bakshi for “wilful and deliberate” breach of court orders relating to procurement of 1,843 decibel meters.

The decibel meters were to be procured by government and supplied to all police stations in the state so as to enable the police to measure noise levels during festivals, processions and other events to ensure compliance of noise pollution rules and regulations.

Earlier, the government had assured the court that the meters would be procured by March this year. However, till date these have not been procured. Bakshi, in his affidavit filed earlier, had claimed that the company which was to supply the meters failed to do so.

Government pleader Abhinandan Vagyani today submitted a fresh schedule plan by which the meters would be procured by November end.

“We are anyways not satisfied with the explanation given by Bakshi. The contempt notice against him (Bakshi) will be kept pending. If the schedule is not complied with, then it will amount to aggravated contempt. Till now we have shown leniency. Even if one meter is less than what needs to be procured by November end then we will hold him responsible for aggravated contempt,” Justice Oka said.

The HC was informed by one of the petitioners, NGO ‘Awaaz Foundation’ that it had lodged several complaints against pandals during the Ganesh and Navratri festivals but no action was taken by the police or the government.

“We want to know what action has been taken against the errant officers. This is serious. We want some action to be initiated,” the court said, posting the matter for further hearing on October 26.

It sought clarification on which cities the government was planning to introduce noise mapping in.

“The government affidavit says noise mapping will be done in major cities. Which cities are these? Specify,” it said.

( Source – PTI )

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