Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Court raises questions over noise law in Goa

PANAJI: Can a person be prosecuted for violation of an act that has been extended to Goa, but not yet notified? A local court has sought to know from the high court of Bombay at Goa about the enforceability of the MP (Madhya Pradesh) Control of Music and Noises Act (MPCMNA) in the state after it found that the law has not been notified even though it was extended by the central government to Goa in 1966.

The issue came up after Calangute police filed a chargesheet for offences punishable under section 7 and 8 of MPCMNA against a night club owner who is now facing trial in a criminal case before the JMFC, Mapusa.

It is alleged that the accused was found playing amplified music without permission from the competent authority and thereby causing noise pollution and disturbance to the public at 12.10am on March 22, 2007.

Appearing for the night club owner, advocate Galileo Telles pointed out to the court that though the provisions of the act were extended to Goa, no notification has been issued till date as provided in section 1(3) of the said act, either by the administrator of the Union territory of Goa or later by the governor, once Goa attained statehood.

The public prosecutor also admitted there is no such notification, thereby leading the court to observe that under Article 20(1) of the Constitution it has been provided that no person shall be convicted of any offence except for violation of a law that is in force at the time of commission of the act charged as an offence.

The North Goa sessions court has now referred the matter to the high court and sought to know whether the provisions of the act were enforceable.

Preetu Venugopalan, TNN 8 December 2009, 04:59am IST, The times of India

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