Bollywood actor Juhi Chawla has submitted a petition wherein she has demanded tighter norms governing cell phone tower radiation. The Supreme Court has responded by accepting the actor’s plea and will now hear her petition in November, along with the pleas of five others.
The petitions pertain to issues arising out of rampant illegal installation of the towers and antennae, and the absence of adequate laws and regulatory norms.
A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Navin Sinha and K M Joseph tagged the matter of Juhi Chawla and others along with the other petitions.
“Unfettered and unregulated installation of towers/antennae pose hazardous health risks and impinge upon the right to health, environment, and life with dignity under Article 21 of the responded Constitution,” Chawla’s petition stated.
“A few of the petitioners and their relatives are victims of and continue to suffer from varying degrees of health-related issues. There is a direct correlation between the rising clusters of towers/antennae installed all over the country, especially with the advent of 3G and 4G, and the deteriorating health of those persons who are directly exposed to these towers at long stretches of time,” the pattern further states.
The petition comes at a time when the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is reviewing the interim results of a study on the effects of cell phones and radiation on subjects. The ICMR is shadowing multiple volunteer subjects as they continue using cell phones for various periods of time. It has also been facilitating their annual body check-up, including detailed tests such as blood samples, PET and bone scans, to detect biological changes in their body at a cellular level.
A Parliamentary committee had earlier found that the Department of Telecommunications had selectively accepted studies that favoured the interests of telecom companies, while completely ignoring studies that had concluded that electro-magnetic frequency radiation from cell phones and cell-phone towers might be causing health risks to humans, flora and fauna.