Akhil Bharatiya Grahak Panchayat Files PIL In Bombay High Court Against Noise Pollution And Laser Beams During Festivals 

Bombay High Court Takes Cognisance of Incomplete Bakori Road in Pune ; Asks PMC, PMRDA, Urban Development Dept To File Affidavit
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The general population has been suffering from extreme sound pollution since several decades, mainly during festivals of various religions, political events and other processions and events. 

During the Ganesh festival of 2023, several metro cities in Maharashtra like Pune, Mumbai, Nashik, Sambhajinagar etc, suffered from record breaking, extremely hazardous levels of sound pollution due to illegal usage of certain type of sound systems and hazardous laser beams.  

There are reliable reports about several deaths due to hazardous sound pollution in the state, and several people suffering damage to eyesight from the hazardous laser beams during Ganesh Festival of 2023 in the State of Maharashtra. 

The Petitioner challenges the inaction of the Respondents in the subject. The violators are enjoying impunity.

Following are the respondents in the Petition.

1.       State of Maharashtra

Through their Chief Secretary

2.       Department of Law and Justice

State of Maharashtra

3.       Department of Environment and Climate change,

State of Maharashtra,

4.       Maharashtra Pollution Control Board

Through their Member Secretary

5.       Central Pollution Control Board

Union of India

6.       Police Department – Maharashtra State

Through their Director General of Police


No religion has ever permitted violation of law for celebrating religious festivals. Noise pollution Rules are mostly violated when there are political rallies and religious festivals.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court has already held that use of loudspeakers is not an essential part of any religion and therefore, the protection under Article 25 (Freedom of Religion) of the Constitution of India is not available.

The Petition is not only about any particular religion or festival, but about all kinds of noise pollution.

During recently concluded Ganesh Festival and Eid Festival, at several locations in metro cities like Pune, Mumbai in the State of Maharashtra sound systems emitting very high and hazardous levels of dB sound was used with impunity, thereby affecting the common people, senior citizens, children, and persons suffering from illness. The hardships were to such an extent that at several locations many people lost lives.

The common residents of metro cities like Pune and Mumbai now apprehensive of facing similar hardships during upcoming political rallies, festivals of all religions and other events.


The provisions of the Noise Pollution Rules 2000 are mandatory in nature and therefore, all concerned authorities are bound to implement the said provisions.

Even after obtaining permission from the competent authority the entities holding the permission to use sound systems are duty bound to maintain the noise level as prescribed by the Schedule and Sub Rules (4) and (5) of Rule 5 of the Noise Pollution Rules.

Currently permitted noise levels are prescribed in the Noise Pollution Rules 2000. The below chart shows the permitted levels of decibels.

Ambient Air Quality Standards in Respect of Noise

AreaZoneLimits in dB(A)
(A)Industrial area7570
(B)Commercial area6555
(C)Residential area5545
(D)Silence Zone5040

REALITY CHECK : As per various reports from technical institutions, the norms were flouted with total impunity in Pune.

Permitted dB – Residential ZoneMaximumLevelsDuring Ganesh Festival / 2023 / Pune CityAvg During Ganesh Festival /2023 / Pune City
Day time dB55100.2101.3
Nighttime dB4589Around 8 pm: 113.1


District collectors of various districts such as Pune issued a notification extending the time limit for usage of sound system till mid night for some days during the Ganesh Festival.

Such a notification is illegal, as the provisions of the Noise Pollution Rules 2000 does not grant any such power to the District Collector. Such Powers are only with the State Government and the State Government is not empowered to delegate such powers to its subordinate officers. Furthermore, such relaxation cannot be given district wise. It must be for the whole state, and the relaxation must be declared in advance.

DOUBLE WHAMMY FOR THE COMMON PEOPLE: While on one side there is rampant violation of permitted levels of dB limits by sound system players, on the other hand people are made to suffer such hazardous level of noise pollution till mid night with total impunity and on some locations the noise pollution continues way beyond midnight.

The Apex Court has already clarified that such relaxation shall not apply to silence zones.

SILENCE ZONES: That in view of Sub-Rule (5) of Rule 3 of Noise Pollution Rules, Silence zone comprises of an area within the distance of 100 meters around hospitals, educational institutions, and courts.

It is the established position of law in context to Noise Pollution Rules apply to all religions and sects even if they are in silence zones.

The permission to use loudspeaker or public address system in open spaces in silence zone cannot be granted.

Apart from prohibition on grant of license to use loudspeakers or public address systems in silence zone, there is a complete ban on beating a drum, or blowing a horn, either musical instrument playing of any music, using loud amplifiers, our sound-based performances in the silence zones.

The law does not provide for any relaxation to the Silence Zones in context of Noise Pollution.


The sound pollution in metro cities like Pune during the recently concluded Ganesh Festival was so extreme that people have started wondering if there is any rule of law and whether any authority is enforcing it. People were suffering from the extremely high decibels of noise and hazardous laser beams mercilessly. Thousands of people called the State Police Help Line 102, but it appeared that no action was being taken by the authorities.

The Police and other department may have created a machinery which may be equipped to deal with the issue of violations, but perhaps these departments are not supported implementation and actions aspect by the political bosses and that is the reason why the Noise Pollution Rules are been breached with complete impunity.

The Politicians were seen visiting various locations which themselves were in violation of sound pollution related laws.


The noise pollution related violations being carried out with impunity, various bars, roof top bars, pubs, clubs, and restaurants in Metro cities like Pune, Mumbai are facing a serious issue of noise pollution in residential zones such a Kalyani Nagar, Koregaon Park, Balewadi, Baner Viman Nagar in Pune District and various locations in other metro cities of the State. These commercial establishments continue to use sound systems emitting high and hazardous levels of dB sound, thereby affecting the right to sleep of the residents of the residential zones. The relevant executive authorities appear to be under pressure from their political bosses for not acting against such violations.

The Hon’ble Bombay High Court has already held that under Sub-rule 5 of Rule 5, if privately owned sound system and sound producing instrument is used in private place, at the boundary of private place, the noise level cannot be more than 5 dB(A) above the prescribed noise standard specified for the area as provided in the Schedule of Noise Pollution Rules 2000. Thus, in case of residential area, in the daytime, the noise level cannot exceed 60 dB (A) and at nighttime cannot exceed 50 dB (A) at the boundary of the private place, it may be a restaurant, bar, pub, club or any entertainment house.


The Petition also challenges the illegal use of laser beams. On several locations / processions during recently concluded Ganesh festival, a new trend of using dangerous light laser beams as a subject of attraction along with sound systems emitting illegal levels of dB noise. The lights used for such laser beams are dangerous for the naked eyes of humans, and there are reports of several people having their eyesight permanently damaged due to the exposure to such light beams.

Apparently, there are no rules or guidelines for usage of such hazardous laser beams, and the authorities are turning a blind eye to this problem.

“The govt must implement the judgement of supreme court in the interest of common man, patients, human beings, animals, and Nature. All the people have aggrieved, and they want peace,” said Akhi Bharatiya Grahak Panchayat’s, Vijay Ganpati Sagar. 

“This is the right time for a central policy for regulation of sound equipment in public places including nominating a govt authority to test and certify audio equipment and implementation of decibel control settings with auto switch off once noise is beyond the permissible limit,” said Ravindra Sinha – Baner Pashan Link Road Welfare Trust. 

Advocate Satya Muley who filed the PIL said, “Right to Free Speech and Expression guaranteed under Article 19 also includes Right to Silence, Right to not being forced to hear sounds which are unwanted. Under Article 21, the people have a right to rest, the right to sound sleep, and a safe, pollution-free environment. Pollution also means Air pollution, which includes Sound pollution.” 

Muley further stated. “There are laws in place. The Noise Pollution Rules of 2000 are very clear, and the Environmental Protection Act prescribes up to 5 years of imprisonment and one Lakh rupees of fines on violators.” 

From the recent trend it is evident that the authorities are not at all acting on sound pollution and laser beam usage related violations as there is a complete lack of political will from their political bosses.

Therefore, the Petition seeks to strictly implement the Noise Pollution (Control) Rules 2000, The Environment Protection Act 1986 and punish the offender. 

The Petition also seeks to call for data on all complaints received in context to noise pollution in past two years and report about action taken on such complaints from all the respondents in context to all the districts in the State of Maharashtra.

The Petition also seeks to ensure that there is blanket and complete ban on sale, lease, import, manufacturing and use of loud-speakers, sound systems emitting noise above the permitted limits as per the schedule of the Noise Pollution Rules 2000.

The Petition also seeks direction to the Respondents to submit a report about usage of hazardous light laser beams in various processions, ceremonies, events whether political or religious, the laws applicable, and strictly implement the same, and in the absence of any such regulation, impose a complete ban on sale and use of such hazardous laser beams at public places, till the State develops appropriate regulation and implements it across the State of Maharashtra.

Public Interest Litigation (Civil) Stamp 27763/2023 by AKHIL BHARATIYA GRAHAK PANCHAYAT – THROUGH THEIR SANGHATAK Filed on 10.10.2023.