Observing that science grows and evolves and one does not know what may happen tomorrow, Madras High Court today disposed of over 50 petitions, seeking a direction to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and Department of Telecommunications to formulate rules and guidelines to erect cellphone/mobile phone towers.
"There are no materials 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 to determine the area where it should be installed."
Disposing of the petitions, including one by social activist 'Traffic' Ramaswamy, the bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M M Sundresh, referred to a Kerala High Court order in a similar matter, which mentioned a scientific study by a Committee constituted under chairmanship of Dr N K Ganguly, Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research.
"The report on analysis found that radiation from the mobile base station is less as compared to that of AM Radio and FM Radio.The frequency waves used for mobile phones were found not covered under the definition of radiation as given in Automic Energy Act, 1962. It also said that Radiation Protection Division of U.K.
Health Protection Agency in the year 2000 was stated to have reported that the balance of evidence indicated there was no general risk to the health of those living near base stations on the basis that exposures are expected to be small factions of guidelines. The bench referred to an order of Delhi High Court in a similar matter,saying it had opined that there was neither any conclusive research nor authoritative scientific evidence to show that radiations by such towers are dangerous to human health.
It also mentioned another Kerala High court order that mobile base stations are essential to transmit receiving signals installed and maintained by all telecom Service providers, without which there is no technology available to operate mobile phones without towers. "The Departmental Committee report dated March 30 2012 which succeeds the report of the year 2004 contains certain recommendations.
In fact the above report enforces the health aspects of the concerned authorities, who work in the BTS towers and thus periodically reviewing the matter depending upon the evidentiary material available for and against the health aspects of these towers," it said. "This Court at best can place this matter before the appropriate Committee to look into this matter which the Kerala High Court already did and we have the benefit of the conclusion arrived at in those proceedings as noticed above."
The bench decided there was no need of any further directions in these matters and said the authorities concerned would continue to analyze the material as and when it emerged to look into the concern raised, especially in view of the fact that there is no final view as yet on these aspects. The bench then observed that science grows and evolves and one does not know what may happen tomorrow before disposing of the petitions.