New Delhi, August 28: The Maharashtra government on Monday apologised to Bombay High Court Judge AS Oka for levelling bias allegations against him in noise pollution cases. The government defended its counsel’s statement by saying, “Unfortunately intention has been misunderstood and misinterpreted to project state is against judiciary.” Also Read - Maharashtra Lockdown News: Not Possible to Allow Street Vendors to Open Their Businesses Now, State Tells Bombay High Court
A three-judge Bench of Bombay High Court will hear the matter on noise pollution today. Also Read - 'Why do You Want COVID-19 Patient Names,' Bombay HC Dismisses Plea, Asks Maharashtra Govt to Respond in 2 Weeks
Earlier, the judge had refused to accept the state government’s stand that currently there were no silence zones in the state. As per new amendment to the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, the state needs to declare silence zones around schools and hospitals. Also Read - Palghar Lynching Case: PIL in Bombay HC Seeks Probe by CBI or Court-monitored SIT
The Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court had on Thursday withdrew a bunch of petitions concerning noise pollution. Earlier, another single judge Bench had taken a tough stand over the issue and transferred it to a special Bench of the high court.
The move came after the Maharashtra government levelled the accusation of “serious bias” against Justice Oka. The court had said on Wednesday that the earlier judgment passed in August 2016 would continue to operate. The court had also asked the government to file a plea for reviewing the judgement.
Under this judgment, areas within 100 metre of hospitals, educational institutions and courts were declared as silence zones. Reportedly, in 2015-16, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) got Rs 393.8 crore from the government but has spent only Rs 68.26 crore in order to curb noise pollution.