Published: Monday 15 December 1997

A division bench of the Calcutta High Court has ruled that artists who use loudspeakers in their performances between 9 pm and 6 am and disturb the peace will be punished. Earlier, the same bench of justice B P Banerjee and justice S Barman Roy said that nobody would be allowed to use loudspeakers during the same period for any given purpose. The decision has come in the wake of a complaint made by the special officer of the court, Gitanath Ganguly, who was asked to monitor the decibel level during functions held in the city. Ganguly told the court that after Durga and Kali pujas during the festive season, some singers held open air concerts through the night. The court has directed the West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) to inquire in the case and submit a report. A WBPCB spokesperson admitted that numerous complaints are received during the festive season of musical soirees continuing till the wee hours of the morning. The court has also directed Doordarshan, All India Radio (AIR) and the media to inform all singers in this regard. However, the decision has come as a scathing blow to artists. Several artists have expressed their disappointment at the ruling.

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