Noise pollution is an offence and it is dealt with as public nuisance, as per the Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 268, 290, 291.
The section 68 says: A person is guilty of a public nuisance who does any act or is guilty of an illegal omission which causes any common injury, danger or annoyance to the public or the people in general who dwell or occupy property in the vicinity, or which must necessarily cause injury, obstruction, danger or annoyance to persons who may have occasion to use any public right.
Sections 290 and 291 specify punishments for the offence.
Use Of Loudspeakers: What the Law Says?
According to The Noise Pollution (regulation and control) Act 2000, a loudspeaker can only be used after obtaining a proper permission from relevant authority. Without permission, use of loudspeaker will be illegal. This law further said that even after obtaining permission, use of loudspeaker or public address system is not allowed during 10 pm to 6 am in open places. But it can be used in closed halls, auditoriums, conference rooms, banquet halls for communication.
The law has categorized Day Time (From 6 am to 10 pm ) and night time ( From 10 pm to 6 am ). The law has also described different zones of city like Industrial, Residential, Silence zone. Sound levels in decibels have been prescribed for different times and different zones.
‘Rise in prescribed level of sound in any zone, at a particular time can be construed as offence under the law’.
Permitted Noise Levels in Different areas are as follows :
|Sr No||Zonal Area||Time||Noise (db)||Time||Noise (db)|
Please note that respective local authorities have power to declare a 100 meter area around hospitals, educational institutes and courts, as silence zone.
Right to freedom from noise pollution is the fundamental right of a citizen under article 21 of the Constitution of India, said a division bench of Allahabad High Court. Noise pollution beyond permissible limit is hazardous to the health of citizens, therefore it violates the fundamental rights of citizens.
The court directed the State Government to ensure noise pollution does not cross the permissible limits in the use of loud speakers, public address systems, sound producing industrial, commercial, and construction activities.