KKR allowed to use speakers with 90 decibel limit

Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court today gave permission to the Kolkata Knight Riders to use loudspeakers and microphones on IPL match days within specific decibel limits. Observing that a West Bengal government ban on their use from three days before and during board examinations in open areas was vague, a division bench comprising justices P K Ray and Dipankar Dutta directed that KKR would be allowed to use loudspeakers, microphones and public address systems on match days, but it should be within 90 decibels.

The Shah Rukh Khan-owned KKR had moved the high court claiming that it had applied for use of loudspeakers to the departments concerned of the West Bengal government, but was yet to get permission. With the first IPL match here scheduled on April 5, KKR had to move the high court praying for the permission, their counsel Pratap Chatterjee stated before the bench. On a query from the court, KKR stated that on April 5 and April 13 school board examination dates coincided with the match schedule.

The petitioner submitted that the West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) had on January 13 passed an order banning use of microphones and loudspeakers in residential areas and in the vicinity of educational institutions. There was no residential area or school in the vicinity of the Eden Gardens, where the matches were to be held, Chatterjee stated. KKR stated that on February 26, the state government`s environment department had modified the order and included open areas under the ban.

The court questioned whether the environment department could modify an order of the PCB. The bench termed the order as vague due to lack of proper identification of parameters like permissible decibel levels and area specification. The state government did not oppose the prayer for permission for use of microphones and loudspeakers. The division bench passed the order after hearing all the parties.