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Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Noise pollution: trust moves court to quash order
Correspondent :
Mumbai: A doctor and a trustee of a charitable trust, which runs an ambulance service, has moved the city civil and sessions court seeking to quash an order by a magistrate, who issued them notices because a resident lodged a criminal complaint against them stating noise pollution rules were flouted as one of their ambulances passed through a silent zone with the siren. The resident of Worli pointed out that there is a school within 100 metres of his area, thus making it a silent zone under the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000.

On September 2, 2016, the resident shot videos of the ambulance to prove that it was moving around with the siren when there was not an emergency. This, according to him, implies that the ambulance was creating noise pollution in the silent zone and therefore should be charged with sections of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

He also sent letters to the principal secretary of the environment department and the member secretary of the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board. He subsequently moved court and a criminal complaint was registered against the doctor and a trustee by the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Dadar.

The court issued notices to the accused, which means they need to face trial. They have been charged with Section 15 (penalty for contravention of the provisions of the Act, rules, order and directions) and Section 16 (offences by companies) of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, which may attract imprisonment up to five years and a fine of ?1 lakh. The doctor and the trustee said no case has been made out by the resident against them, and they rely on a ruling by the Supreme Court, which held that the notice to an accused must explain the rationale behind why the accused should face trial. They said there is no rationale behind passing of the order and therefore it needs to be quashed.

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