Loudspeaker use in mosques not a fundamental right, says Allahabad High Court
May 7, 2022

In News:

  • A petition was filed in the Allahabad High Court which asked for reversing the U.P. government’s December 2021 order that rejected a request to use loudspeaker in a mosque for giving azaan (call to prayer).

  • The petitioner argued that the order violated the fundamental rights of the petitioner to use a loudspeaker in a mosque.

  • The Allahabad High Court has remarked that “the law has now been settled” that the use of loudspeakers in mosques is not protected by fundamental rights.

What’s in today’s article:

  • About Noise Pollution (Meaning, Parameters, Causes, Health Impact)

  • Noise Pollution in India (Permissible levels, Laws related to it)


About Noise Pollution:

  • Noise pollution is generally defined as regular exposure to elevated sound levels that may lead to adverse effects in humans or other living organisms.

  • According to the World Health Organization, sound levels less than 70 dB are not damaging to living organisms, regardless of how long or consistent the exposure is.

  • However, noise becomes harmful when it exceeds 75 dB and is painful above 120 dB.

Causes of Noise Pollution:

  • Traffic Noise:
    • Traffic noise accounts for most polluting noise in cities. For example, a car horn produces 90 dB and a bus produces 100 dB.

  • Air Traffic Noise:
    • There are fewer aircraft flying over cities than there are cars on the roads, but the impact is greater: a single aircraft produces 130 dB.

  • Construction Sites:
    • Building and car park construction and road and pavement resurfacing works are very noisy. For example, a pneumatic drill produces 110 dB.

  • Animals:
    • Noise made by animals can go unnoticed, but a howling or barking dog, for example, can produce around 60-80 dB.

Health Impact due to Noise Pollution:

  • Hypertension can be a direct result of noise pollution which causes elevated blood pressure levels when exposed for a longer period of time.

  • Hearing loss can be directly caused by noise pollution, whether listening to loud music in your headphones or being exposed to loud drilling noises at work, heavy air or land traffic, etc.

  • Sleep disturbances are usually caused by constant air or land traffic at night, and they are a serious condition in that they can affect everyday performance and lead to serious diseases.

  • Child development. Children appear to be more sensitive to noise pollution, and a number of noise-pollution-related diseases and dysfunctions are known to affect children, from hearing impairment to psychological and physical effects.

  • Various cardiovascular dysfunctions. Elevated blood pressure caused by noise pollution, especially during the night, can lead to various cardiovascular diseases.

  • Dementia isn't necessarily caused by noise pollution, but its onset can be favored or compounded by noise pollution.

  • Psychological dysfunctions and noise annoyance. Noise annoyance is, in fact, a recognized name for an emotional reaction that can have an immediate impact.


Permissible Noise level in India:

  • The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has laid down the permissible noise levels in India for different areas.
    • In industrial areas, the permissible limit is 75 dB for daytime and 70 dB at night.

    • In commercial areas, it is 65 dB and 55 dB.

    • In residential areas, it is 55 dB and 45 dB during daytime and night respectively.

  • Recently, United Nations Environment Programme's latest report – Annual Frontiers Report – has put Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh on the second spot in the list of noisiest cities in the world.


  • Earlier, noise pollution and its sources were addressed under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.

  • They are now, however, regulated separately under the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000.

  • Additionally, noise standards for motor vehicles, air-conditioners, refrigerators, diesel generators and certain types of construction equipment are prescribed under the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986.

  • Noise emanating from industry is regulated by State Pollution Control Boards / Pollution Control Committees (SPCBs / PCCs) for states / Union territories under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.