Observing that mobile phones have become such an essential part of life that they keep disturbing even court proceedings, the Madras High Court on Monday refused to restrain a private cellular service operator from erecting a transmission tower at Molasi village in Tiruchengode Taluk of Namakkal district.
Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose made the observation when the petitioner P. Balasubramaniam’s counsel stated that radiation from the transmission towers was harmful to living beings and therefore they should not be allowed to be erected around thickly populated human habitations.
Stating that the petitioner had not been able to produce any concrete scientific material before the court to prove his claim, the judges recalled that on March 5, 2015, a coordinate Division Bench comprising the then Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M.M. Sundresh had rejected a similar plea. In that judgment, the Bench had said: “We are of the view that in a judicial proceeding, these aspects cannot be analysed. There being no materials at least as on date, which can finally suggest any health hazards from these towers and the solution thereof, the court would not venture into unchartered territory of technical expertise.”
Exercise by Kerala HC
Further, stating that the court, at best, could place the matter before an appropriate committee of experts, the Bench said that the Kerala High Cout had already carried out such an exercise and on analysis found that the radiation from mobile base stations was less compared to AM and FM radio and there was no general risk to health of people living near base stations.
Finally, the Bench led by Mr. Justice Kaul had held: “We are of the view that no further directions are required in these matters, other than to say that the authorities concerned would continue to analyse the materials as and when they emerge to look into the concern raised by the petitioners, especially, in view of the fact that there is no final view as yet on these aspects.
“Science grows and evolves and one does not know what may happen tomorrow.” After quoting the judgment extensively in their order too, Ms. Justice Banerjee’s Bench pointed out that mobile phones have become such an absolute necessity for people that even the court was unable to prevent them from ringing when cases were being heard and judgements delivered.