The High Court on Thursday warned the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) of initiating contempt of court proceedings for not amending the noise levels during the night even though the Supreme Court in 2005 directed maintenance of zero decibel noise-level between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B.V. Nagarathna gave this warning orally when it was brought to its notice that the KSPCB's rules still permit 40 decibels of noise level during this period, during the hearing on a public interest litigation petition that authorities have failed to restrict noise levels of loudspeakers in the city.

“Zero decibel at night (10 p.m. to 6 a.m.) has become the law of the land after the apex court's direction in the firecrackers' case. Why have you not amended Noise Pollution Regulation Rules after the verdict of the apex court? If the amendment is not carried out in one week, we will initiate contempt against the Chairman of the Board,” the Bench said.

Earlier, Ravindra G. Kolle, government counsel, informed the Bench that the Bangalore City Police Commissioner had instructed all police stations to regularly control and monitor noise pollution levels while submitting the affidavit of the Commissioner indicating the measures. The Bench, during the last hearing, had pulled up the Commissioner for delay in submitting the action taken report.

The affidavit states that necessary steps have been initiated to monitor noise pollution of loudspeakers by religious institutions and other organisations under the provisions of the Karnataka Police Act and based on the noise-level chart given by the KSPCB. The Commissioner also stated that there were as many as 2,813 licences for use of loudspeakers in various parts of the city since January 2011 and five cases were registered for violation of terms of licence.

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