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Supreme Court upholds Bengal ban on loudspeakers in February, March

The Supreme Court shocked the BJP by rejecting its petition which wanted to lift the ban on the use of loudspeakers in February, and March which was imposed by Mamata Banerjee government in 2013. The prohibition on the use of loudspeakers applies in residential and institutional areas because of school exams.

Supreme Court which examined the petition by BJP has ruled out the chances of lifting the ban saying the exams of children are more important than election campaigning.

The West Bengal unit of BJP claimed that it was a move by the government to stop legitimate political activities by the BJP as it tries to build public support for the general elections scheduled in April-May.

“The impugned notification, in its operation during the period proximate to elections, especially general elections, operates way beyond the legitimate purview of the environmental law,” the petition said.

Also, it violates the right to freedom of speech of a political party’s members to canvass support ahead of elections. Such a notification affects voters’ right to know their candidates and denies them an opportunity to exercise their franchise effectively, the petition said.

This was the second time the BJP and Trinamool Congress faced off in the supreme court. Both these parties were recently locked in litigation over the BJP’s proposed rath yatra in West Bengal, which was rejected by Mamata Banerjee. The SC had refused to intervene with the decision but allowed the BJP to seek fresh approval from the authorities.

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