New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday sought more "field data" in support of a PIL that has sought ban on use of loudspeakers at religious sites on the ground that they not only cause noise pollution but also cause communal riots.
"What is the permissible decibel limit? You (petitioner) want a writ of mandamus to ban it, tell us, how does it affect the right to life of a common citizen?
You will have to show how the use of loudspeakers affects the public order," a bench comprising Chief Justice RM Lodha and justices Kurian Joseph and RF Marian said.
On being informed that authorities do not keep track of noise pollution created by loudspeakers installed at mosques and temples, it said, "You need an actionable field data."
The court was hearing the PIL filed by journalist and social activist Vineet Narain seeking complete ban on the use of loudspeakers at every place of worship for all religions.
Not only it creates noise pollution but it also threatens "the very safety of the peace loving citizens of this country", the PIL said, adding loudspeakers were not invented before 1861, "yet Prophet Mohammed, Hindu saints, Guru Nanak Dev and Christian Missionaries preached religion without the help of loudspeakers."
Narain also said that in several Islamic countries, use of loudspeakers is prohibited in mosques.
There are several Supreme Court judgements directing reduction of noise pollution level of loudspeakers in every place, yet no government ever bothers to abide by the apex court orders, lawyer Vivek Narayan Sharma, appearing for the scribe, said.
"As is evident, loudspeakers installed at religious places emanate sound much higher than the prescribed limits and are used irresponsibly a majority of times," it said.
"That the issue, relating to loudspeakers installed at religious places of different religions, has for decades given way to communal disharmony, riots and murders of innocents. This has brought disrepute to our nation for a very long time," the PIL said.