LAW ET JUSTICIA LAW REVIEW
VOLUME 1 ISSUE 2
UNMUTING THE NOISE LAWS AND BALANCING TRANSGRESSORS AND CAPTIVES RIGHTS
Jamia Millia Islamia
Noise Pollution is a serious environmental and health hazard which beyond certain limits affects all the living beings physiologically, psychologically and also causes behavioural changes. With the advent of rapid industrialization and technological advancements there are infinite sources of noise pollution. Despite this it is the least addressed environmental issue. There is no concrete legislation aimed at regulating and curbing this menace and the scattered provisions under different laws fail to prevent it before its inception but merely deals with its aftermaths. The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules 2000, aims to regulate and control the noise pollution and maintain the quality standards with respect to noise but it has proved to be grossly inadequate mainly due to inefficiency on the part of authorities entrusted with its implementation and the administrative framework. The noise pollution has been regarded as ‘nuisance’ under Indian Penal Code, 1860, Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 and Law of Torts and the liability for nuisance is usually imposed as per provision of these laws. In the U.K and the U.S.A the menace of noise pollution has been dealt with specific legislations, federal regulations, ordinances, state regulations and municipal bye-laws. These regulations impose strict monetary penalties, provide an effective administrative framework and efficaciously address the modern contours of noise pollution. Use of loudspeakers and sound amplifiers on various religious and cultural occasions is a major source of noise pollution. Such actions have been justified by the transgressors as exercise of fundamental right of free speech and expression or right to practice and propagate one’s religion and sometimes even right to carry out trade and business. Though the judiciary has negated this proposition by interpreting the right to a healthy environment and right not to be a captive listener as fundamental rights as a part of freedom of speech and expression and right to life and liberty respectively. The paper attempts to balance the interests of transgressors with those held captive.