Set loudspeaker rules, there’re no state laws: Maharashtra to Centre

The Maharashtra government on Monday put the onus on the Centre ‘for framing rules and bringing clarity’ on the use on loudspeakers.

Addressing a press conference after an all-party meeting, state Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil and Environment and Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray said the ‘state has no role in bringing down loudspeakers. “The state cannot take any decision on bringing down loudspeakers or putting them up. Whoever is putting up loudspeakers will have to take its responsibility,”said Walse Patil.

The BJP and the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), which have demanded that loudspeakers be removed from Mosques, didn’t attend the all-party meeting.

The Maharashtra home minister and Aaditya Thackeray held the view that since the 2005 Supreme Court judgement pertained to the entire country, it was the Centre that should be taking a call on the issue. “The Centre should take a final view on the issue. An all-party delegation would meet the Centre for clarification and to check the policy being followed by the other states. There is no legislation to bring down the loudspeakers,”said Walse Patil.

Patil said if the state acts against loudspeakers, it would be forced to act against its use by all communities. “There are bhajans and kirtans in rural areas early in the morning, loudspeakers are also used for Navratri and Ganesh Utsav, we discussed what would be the impact, the law and order is the same for everyone, we cannot take a different view for others (read other Communities),”said Patil. He maintained the police would act against complaints of high-decibel levels.

Leader of the Opposition in Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis maintained that the 2005 SC order on loudspeakers was being observed by the Hindus. “Unlike in the past, no loudspeaker is played the whole night. All the other religions should also adhere to the rules.”

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