Last updated: April 12, 2017 at 17:54 pm

In a landmark judgement, which can open a Pandora’s box, Supreme Court has ordered the removal of a cell tower in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh. The order was passed after a man claimed that radiations from the cell tower caused his cancer.

This is a watershed moment for Indian telecom industry because, before this case, there has been no ruling against the installation of mobile towers and the radiations caused by them, anywhere in the country.

However, there were several cases against increasing radiations from cell towers and every time a case became big, TRAI used to impose a fine on telecom operators which were responsible for the installation of cell towers.

But now, things can change a lot. After Supreme Court’s verdict regarding radiations coming out from cell towers, and agreeing to the claim that cell towers cause cancer, more such cases may open up, all over India.

Supreme Court’s Verdict On Radiations From Cell Tower

In this case, a man named Harish Chand Tiwari, who works as a domestic helper at the residence of Prakash Sharma in the Dal Bazar area of Gwalior, approached Supreme Court with the petition that an ‘illegal’ BSNL cell tower installed in a neighbour’s home has caused him cancer.

Advocate Nivedita Sharma, who was representing Harish Chandra Tiwari, said in their petition that the BSNL tower installed less than 50 meters away from the residence caused ‘Hodgkin’s Lymphoma’, which is a form of cancer.

And as per the claim, this cancer was caused due to continuous and prolonged exposure to radiation, 24 * 7, since 2002.

The bench comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha said, “We direct that the particular mobile tower shall be deactivated by BSNL within seven days from today.”

This way, this has become the first such cell tower to be closed down, due to cancer causing radiations from it.

But Department of Telecom Doesn’t Believe In This Logic

In 2015, Govt. of India informed the nation that a total of Rs 10.8 crore has been charged as a penalty from various telecom providers, for ‘exceeding prescribed electronic frequency (EMF) limits from mobile towers.’

However, when the question comes about harmful effects of radiation emitting from cell towers, Department of Telecom has clearly said no. As per their observations, as long as the radiations emitting from cell towers are under the limit, there is no harm done to humans or animals.

In their written reply to Allahabad High Court, DoT had said: “So far, no conclusive evidence has been found on adverse health effects of EMF radiation from the mobile handset by the World Health Organisation (WHO)…(and) so long as EMF radiation power levels in the vicinity of base stations of cellphone towers are below the prescribed limits, there should not be any cause of concern for adverse thermal health effects on human beings living close them,”

This reply was filed by Govt. in 2014.

However, after the recent Supreme Court verdict, it seems more research and awareness needs to be generated, regarding radiations from cell towers, and its harmful effects.