Court cautions it may have to summon the city Police Commissioner to seek proper explanations; KSPCB says police have no equipment to measure noise level

Bengaluru

Terming as “nothing but an eyewash” the status report filed by the city police on the action taken on residents’ complaints about noise and other nuisance caused by over 100 pubs and other liquor joints in Indiranagar, the High Court of Karnataka on Thursday cautioned that it may have to summon the city Police Commissioner to seek proper explanation.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice H.T. Narendra Prasad made oral observations in this regard after noticing that the status report was a general statement and did not contain any precise action taken to measure the noise caused by playing of music and other activities in these liquor joints. The Bench also wanted to know whether any police officer carried out surprise inspection to check noise level around pubs.

Poser to police

When the counsel for the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) pointed out that the police have no equipment to measure noise level, the Bench asked the government counsel whether the police contacted the KSPCB to check noise level at least after the last hearing on the petition.

On the police claim that they had booked cases for causing nuisance, the Bench asked how can the police establish the charge of nuisance in the absence of any record to show noise level. Also, the Bench questioned how the police would be able to measure noise level sans equipment if a citizen calls the police control room during late night to complaint about noise caused by pubs as the assistance of KPSCB officials will not be available during night for measuring it.

‘Not bona fide approach’

“Not a bona fide approach at all. If this is the approach of the police, then we will direct the Police Commissioner to personally appear before the court …,” the Bench said after going through the contents of status report. As the government counsel assured that the police will better their status report, the Bench said it wants specific statement on procuring equipment to measure noise levels.

The Bench was hearing a public interest litigation petition filed by Defence Colony Residents’ Association along with several other residents’ welfare associations and individuals from the areas surrounding Indiranagar.

The court had on June 6 asked the city police to file a status report specifically on the action taken about noise pollution caused by pubs.

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