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Friday, 10 June 2016

COAI lauds Delhi High Court judgements that say mobile tower radiation is not harmful


KOLKATA: The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) on Thursday welcomed Delhi High Court's recent decisions dismissing multiple petitions against mobile towers, which underscore that fears about mobile tower radiation being of harmful to health have no scientific basis.  The Delhi High Court had delivered its judgements in two petitions that came within days of each other. On May 5, it heard a petition filed against the Delhi Municipal Corporation
to remove towers from a locality in the Lakshmi Nagar area that were allegedly radiating waves "in large quantity" and causing blood pressure, prostate cancer and other heart problems.  After listening to both sides, the court held that there is no scientific data to show that installation of mobile phone towers and the emission of the waves by them is in any way harmful to the health of citizens. Dismissing the petition, Justice A K Pathak had said: "The petitioner has not been able to produce any data whatsoever showing any such harmful effects on the health of human beings." The verdict comes not long after a similar ruling by the Delhi HC in April, when Chief Justice Jayant Nath threw out a petition against the installation of a mobile tower in Delhi's Tekhand village, saying that based on empirical evidence, there is no scientific data available that installation of mobile phone towers and the wave emissions by the said towers is in any way harmful for the health or hazardous to the health of citizens. In an 8-page judgment, Justice Nath had referred to court rulings in the past and scientific reports by WHO to dismiss the petition as "without merit". In fact, both judges referred to past rulings by various Indian courts, including the findings of the Expert Committee appointed under the orders of the Allahabad High Court to look into concerns of harmful radiation from low electromagnetic frequency (EMF) from mobile towers. The Committee, comprising scientists and doctors, found that such objections are "a complete misrepresentation of actual position and shall create only confusion, misperception and unfounded fear in the minds of general public, which should be avoided." The verdicts are in line with verdicts delivered by the Kerala High Court, Madras High Court, Delhi High Court, Himachal Pradesh High Court, Gujarat High Court and Allahabad High Court. Lauding the judgments, COAI director general Rajan Mathews said "the court's verdicts reinforce the industry's views on EMF that there is absolutely nothing to fear from mobile tower emissions, as these can cause no harm to human health". 

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