In a unique ruling, India’s Supreme Court has ordered to shut down a mobile tower after a man alleged that he got cancer from its radiation.
Last year, Madhya Pradesh-resident Harish Chand Tiwari had approached India’s apex court, the highest judicial forum in the country, alleging that a mobile tower from state-run telecom operator BSNL exposed him to harmful radiation.
Tiwari claimed that the tower was illegally installed on his friend’s roof, less than 50 metres away from his house. He was exposed to this “radiation” for 14 years, something he firmly believes afflicted him with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
“We direct that the particular mobile tower shall be deactivated by BSNL within seven days from today,” Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha ruled, according to Indian daily Times of India.
But many people aren’t satisfied. Two years ago, several citizens filed a petition to block the installation of mobile towers in their neighbourhood. The country’s IT and communications minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had to address such concerns.
“Mobile towers are not harmful! Doesn’t America have mobile towers? Doesn’t Europe have mobile towers? There tele-density is much higher than in India. This planned campaign against [installation of] mobile towers is totally uncalled for” the minister had said. He repeated his statement, a year later because many consumers were still had concerns over the impact of mobile tower radiation.