In a historic judgment and first-of-its kind, the Supreme Court has ordered a mobile phone tower to shutdown, after a 42-year-old man claimed that the electromagnetic radiation from the tower caused him cancer.
According to a Times Of India report, Harish Chand Tiwari who was working as a domestic help in Gwalior’s Dal Bazar area, had moved the apex court last year, urging it to shutdown a BSNL tower illegally installed on a neighbour’s rooftop in 2002.
In his plea, Tiwari said that the BSNL tower which was less than 50 metres from the house where he worked had exposed him to harmful radiation for the last 14 years. The continuous exposure was what led to Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, he claimed.
Acting on his plea, a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha directed the BSNL to deactivate the tower within seven days.
This is the first time in India’s history that a mobile phone tower will be closed on an individual’s petition alleging harmful radiation.
The SC order is further bound to fuel the long-standing debate about the health hazards of mobile phone towers. However, The Cellular Operators Association of India, as well as government, have time and again denied allegations of cell phone towers causing cancer, citing lack of proof.