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How to Stop Noisy Neighbors in India?

February 16, 2023 | Dispute Resolution

If the noise caused by your neighbors disturbs you for long periods & disrupts your sleep & comfort, you may file a complaint to make them stop; they can also be subjected to a fine.

It is a common occurrence where someone may be disturbed and unable to relax or concentrate on whatever they are doing due to the noise caused by their neighbors. Although they may be celebrating or organizing something of value for them, your neighbors have no right to disturb your activities and comfort. Be it loud music, religious functions or simply construction work, there are numerous things that may disturb your peace.

This is especially a common issue in India, where numerous events, festivals and functions are organized throughout the year. However, considering the sensitivity of the issue, most people prefer to refrain from taking any action, as the noise may be temporary, but the relationship is permanent.

In the case of Vardhaman Kaushik v. Union of India, the National Green Tribunal stated that all construction materials should be covered with tarpaulin or other similar materials to ensure no dust particles pollute the area. In addition, the Court deemed it to be the builder/contractor’s responsibility to build high windbreakers on all sides of the construction area to prevent any dust particles from flying out and causing air pollution.

What to do about Noisy Neighbors?

First, if you have any issues with the noise caused by neighbors, you must talk to them and inform them of your discomfort. However, if you have spoken to them and the noise continues to bother you, you can take legal action to deal with the noise.

  • If the neighbor is living on rent, inform the house owner of the issue you are facing and ask them to take corrective measures.
  • If the neighbor is the owner and making noise, the building supervisor can be contacted, if you are living in a housing society.
However, if neither of the above-mentioned ways work, you are allowed to take legal action against the neighbor at fault as per the legal provisions and redressal mechanisms listed below.

Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000

The Central or State Board can be approached under Sections 16 and 17 of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, which deems noise as an air pollutant. The provisions under this Act specifically address noise pollution.

For example, Rule 5 of the Act states that no loudspeakers or public addressing systems shall be used during the night hours, i.e., 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. If anyone crosses these standards, in accordance with Rule 7 of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, you may approach the appropriate authority and request them to take appropriate action. If the authority is satisfied by the report submitted by the police, they shall look into the issue.

They have the complete authority to stop someone from whatever activity they are doing and for whatever reason, be it personal, professional or religious.

The ambient air quality standards in respect of noise as per the area or zone are:

Area Code Category of Area or Zone Limits in dB(A)
Day Time - Night Time
A Industrial Area 75 70
B Commercial Area 65 55
C Residential Area 55 45
D Silence Zone 50 40

As per Rule 8(1) of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, if the authority is satisfied with the officer’s report about the issue faced by the complainant, they may issue a written order with directions for preventing and prohibiting:

  • The continuance of:

Any vocal instrument or music. Sounds caused by playing, beating or blowing any instrument including horns, loudspeakers, etc.  Noise caused by bursting crackers.

  • Carrying on with some trade or process that results in noise.

In the case of Church of God (Full Gospel) in India v. K.K.R. Majestic Colony Welfare Association [AIR 2000 SC 2773], the Supreme Court deemed that the Court may direct to control noise pollution even if it is caused due to religious activities.
The Supreme Court stated, ‘no religion prescribes that prayers should be performed by disturbing the peace of others nor does it preach that they should be through voice amplifiers or beating of drums.’ It also mentioned that in a civilized society, in the name of religion, activities that disturb old or infirm individuals, students or children cannot be allowed.

Police Act, 1861

If your neighbor is conducting religious events or processions in the streets without getting the permission and license, you may call 100 to inform the police.

As per Section 30 of the Police Act, the District Superintendent or Assistant District Superintendent of Police can direct and control the conduct of processions on public roads after getting the permission via a special or general notice by the magistrate. In addition, as per Section 30A, the officers may stop such processions if there is a case of breach of licensed orders by disrupting public order and peace.

Furthermore, Section 32 of the Act states that a fine of INR 200 must be paid by the individuals that are at fault.

How to File a Noise Pollution Complaint?

Dial 112, the Police helpline and tell them the issue you are facing. Call them if:

  • The noise is between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. and does not comply with the legal decibel limits.
  • The noise is persistent in the daytime and is caused by unlawful activities for which no permission has been taken beforehand.

If the noise stops after the responding constable or investigating officer (IO) asks them politely, good. If not, you may go to the Police Station of the area and lodge an FIR at the earliest.

The police will investigate, and the State shall prosecute the case.

If the noise is persistent, say from a mill, factory, construction site, manufacturing unit, pub, disco, etc., the police may direct the case to the apt State Air Pollution Control Board.

Delhi Police Special Helpline

If you are in Delhi:
  • you can call any of the two helpline numbers – 155270 and 155271.
  • visit and enter your mobile number to get an OTP. Select the right police station and file a complaint, after which you will receive an email or message. The same will be sent to the ACP or SDM of the area to take immediate action.

Remedy under Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860

  • Section 268 of the IPC states that an individual shall be guilty of public nuisance if they have caused annoyance to the public. Injury caused while obtaining any advantage is not excused either. For example, it is not excused if you are paid to teach children drums that disturb others.
  • If there is any noise after 10 p.m., you may contact the local police and they shall give your neighbor a warning. If they do not stop, you may file a case under Section 290 of the IPC and they shall have to pay a fine of INR 200.


Constitution of India, 1949

By making noise, your neighbor is violating Article 21 (Right to Life) by disturbing your sleep due to the activity they are carrying out in the neighborhood. Besides, even though anyone can profess their religion freely under Article 25, only necessary religious practices are permissible under this clause and can be carried out without any limitation. These limitations vary for different religions. However, disturbing neighbors through loud activities does not come under a crucial religious practice.


You should be a bit cooperative for temporary cases of high noise activities, as they last only for a few hours or days. However, if the problem persists for a long period, it is within your legal right to file a complaint with the local authority for the issue. The authorities will not only warn your neighbor once but can also stop the activity altogether if they deem your neighbor to be at fault.

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