Ban cone speakers within Chennai: HC

The Madras High Court on Tuesday warned that it would be constrained to summon Commissioner of Policeif the officer does not make sure that the banned cone speakers were not used in temples, mosques, churches or any other religious institution within the city limits.

Justice R. Mahadevan granted a week’s time to crack down on the use of cone speakers. The warning was issued during the hearing of a plea filed by D. Sanker alias Gowri Sanker of Nesapakkam.

He accused the police of inaction despite receiving multiple complaints from him, about the use of cone speakers in a local mosque, since 2016.

Taking serious note of the case, the judge recalled having passed an order early this year directing the Public Secretary to issue a circular instructing all Collectors and their subordinate officials to ensure that the ban on cone speakers was enforced in letter and spirit and that loudspeakers also did not exceed the permitted noise limits.

It was further ordered that any violation of the statutory rules should be countered with appropriate legal action against the violators apart from confiscating the sound amplifiers. Awareness campaigns should also be conducted to educate the public about the ill-effects of cone speakers and the use of loud speakers beyond permissible limits, the judge had said.

He had pointed out that in 2003, Justice K.P. Sivasubramaniam (since retired) of the High Court had rightly cautioned religious enthusiasts and fundamentalists to practice their respective faiths in a cultured way, and not to resort to “aggressive, unfair or inhuman” methods of worship since “religion was not a trade requiring advertisement by amplifiers.”

“God, to whichever religion he belongs, is said to be present everywhere and does not require a blaring and deafening amplifier to hear the prayer of his devotees… Belief in religion is and should remain a private and personal affair. Even animals run away from noisy areas… Why should we, human beings, reduce ourselves to less than animals?” Mr. Justice Sivasubramaniam had asked.

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