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In an important ruling, the Supreme Court has held that peaceful rest is a biological necessity and essential for health and therefore, noise pollution cannot be allowed to interfere with this human right.

A bench, comprising Justices S B Sinha and Cyriac Joseph, while dismissing a petition seeking permission to hold a cultural function in Rang Bhawan, Mumbai, held ‘interference by the court in respect of noise pollution is premised on the basis that a citizen has certain rights being necessity of silence, necessity of sleep, process during sleep and rest, which are biological necessities and essential for health.

Silence is considered to be golden. It is considered to be one of the human rights, as noise is injurious to human health which is required to be preserved at any cost.’ The apex court also made clear that musical functions in an open theatre like Rang Bhawan cannot be allowed, as it was situated within 100 m of an educational institution and a hospital.

Rang Bhawan is run and owned by the state of Maharashtra and has a capacity of 4,000 people and world’s greatest artistes both western and Indian have performed therein.

This is the only open theatre in Mumbai.

Dismissing the petition of Farhd K Wadia, the apex court also clarified that ‘state government is also bound by the order of this court besides the order passed by the High Court.

‘If any order of any relaxation and/or modification is required to be passed, it is to be by this court only and the Bombay High Court in the aforementioned two writ petitions. A separate writ petition in our opinion, thus was not maintainable,’ the court underlined.

The Supreme Court has laid down some guidelines to check and control noise pollution in 2005.

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