In a landmark judgement, the Supreme Court of India has ordered the shutting down of a mobile phone tower in Gwalior, on the grounds that its electromagnetic radiation caused a 42-year-old man to be afflicted by cancer.
According to a report in the The Times of India, Harish Chand Tiwari, who works as a domestic help in Gwalior, had claimed that a BSNL tower illegally installed on a neighbour's rooftop in 2002 had exposed him to harmful radiation for over 14 years. Tiwari suffers from Hodgkin's Lymphoma, which he claims was caused by prolonged exposure to radiation.
In the order, SC bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha said:
"We direct that the particular mobile tower shall be deactivated by BSNL within seven days from today."
The SC order is bound to fuel the debate over the effects of radiation emitted by over 12 lakh mobile phone towers located across India.
The Cellular Operators Association of India, as well as the government, have denied allegations of cell phone towers causing cancer, citing scientific studies, and said that the fears are unfounded.
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