Maharashtra government today assured the Bombay High Court there would be no violation of noise pollution rules on Christmas and New Year’s eve as it has procured and distributed decibel meters to all police stations, by which noise levels would be measured.
Following this assurance from the government, a division bench of Justices A S Oka and Anuja Prabhudessai today did not award sentence to former additional chief secretary (Home) K P Bakshi, who was held guilty on contempt charges last week.
The high court had, on December 16, held Bakshi guilty on contempt charges and directed him to appear before the court today when it would sentence him. The court, while holding Bakshi guilty, had said that despite repeated assurances by way of affidavits the government had failed to procure decibel meters.
The decibel meters were to be procured by the government and supplied to all police stations in the state so as to enable the police to measure noise decibel levels during festivals, processions and other events to ensure compliance of noise pollution rules and regulations.
Senior counsel Ashutosh Kumbhakoni, appearing for the government, today told the court that the decibel meters have been procured and are being distributed to all police stations.
“Training has also been given to the concerned police officials on how to use the decibel meters. The authorities will ensure that there is no violation of noise pollution norms on December 25 and 31,” Kumbhakoni told the court.
He further said the government would file a compliance report on the next date of hearing. “If the court is not satisfied with the compliance report then it can go ahead with the sentencing. We (government) will not ask the court to show leniency then,” Kumbhakoni said.
The court agreed and posted the matter for further hearing on January 24.
In May this year, the court had issued contempt notice against Bakshi for “wilful and deliberate” breach of court orders relating to procurement of 1843 decibel meters.
Earlier, the government had assured the court that the meters would be procured by March this year. Later, Bakshi in his affidavit, had claimed that the company which was to supply the meters failed to do so. He submitted that a fresh schedule plan was made by which the meters would be procured by November end.
The court was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations on the issue of violation of noise pollution rules during religious festivals and processions and inaction on the part of government and other authorities.
( Source – PTI )