SC lifts ban imposed on disc jockeys

Bench says DJs can perform at functions provided they follow rules, obtain licences

The Supreme Court on Thursday lifted a blanket ban imposed on disc jockeys by the Allahabad High Court in Uttar Pradesh two years ago.

A Bench, led by Justice Vineet Sareen, said disc jockeys could perform at functions provided they follow the rules and obtain necessary licences.

The High Court had passed a general order in August 2019 directing authorities to refuse permission to DJs under The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules of 2000 as they create noise at “unpleasant and obnoxious levels”.

The High Court had noted that even minimum levels of sound at which DJs operate violate the rules.

“A DJ is made up of several amplifiers and joint sound emitted by them is more than thousand dB. They are serious threat to human health, particularly children, senior citizens and patients admitted to hospitals,” the High Court had observed.

Many DJs, including the members of the Bundelkhand Sound and DJ Association, challenged this direction in the Supreme Court.

They argued that the High Court’s general ban has deprived them of their livelihood, which is a fundamental right under Article 16.

They said the direction was passed in the case of residents who had complained about their neighbourhood loudspeakers. The case before the High Court had nothing whatsoever to do with DJing. In fact, they said, they were not even parties before the High Court.

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