On Monday 31st may actress Juhi Chawla filed a suit in the Delhi high court against the implementation of 5G wireless networks in the country. She has raised concerns over issues related to the impact of radiation on citizens, animals, flora and fauna. Justice C Hari Shankar who was hearing this matter transferred the suit to another bench for hearing on June 2.
what Juhi Chawla has to say in her lawsuit?
Former actress and also an environmentalist filed a lawsuit stating that,
“She is not against the implementation of technology advancements” but added that the concerned departments should certify that 5g technology is safe for humans and also animals and birds. Her major concern here is first government should clear all doubts regarding the safety concerns related to 5g technology then they should proceed in implementing the technology.
status of 5g in India
5g promises to revolutionise mobile broadband and is a big generation leap over the existing 4g technology. This new technology will capable of not just guaranteeing fast internet connections but also help power IoT networks to run connected cars and homes smarter.
But 5g haven’t yet been rolled out in India tough Bharti airtel, reliance jio and vodofone idea have been given trial spectrum to test 5g technology in India. It is expected that 5g will be implemented by the end of 2021 in India.
fears around 5g radiation
The claim is that the more powerful 5g waves will emit more radiation and can cause harm to society.
Also, 5g will require more towers for better connectivity, and since it will power more than just the smartphones it will increase human exposure to such radiations. This is an extension of the idea that cellular towers that emit low-level RF-EMF fafiation are damaging our bodies. Radiation from towers, mobile phones, wifi routers is typically non-ionising radiation like radio waves, microwaves and optical radiation.
WHO’s International Agency for research on cancer has classified RF fields as possibly carcinogenic to human. But it also adds that more research is needed on this subject. They also pointed out various studies, including one conducted by the US National Toxicology Program(NTP), which proved increased cancer growth in rats after prolonged exposure to radiofrequency radiation.
Given the growing concerns, WHO is conducting a health risk assessment from exposure to radio frequencies, covering the entire radiofrequency range, including 5g. This study will be published by 2022.
Do towers negatively impact the environment?
A study done in 2017 published in the journal of entomology and zoology studies have shown that bee colonies have collapsed due to exposure to mobile phone towers and colonies near mobile phone towers were worst affected by electromagnetic radiation.
however, another study published in Science of the total environment in 2019 said more evidence was needed to establish whether such radiations poses risk to bees. It also stated other studies which have made these claims relied on unscientific methods.
The court has imposed a Rs 20 lakh fine on Juhi Chawla and called it a publicity stunt. Basic procedures were not followed by her. Under section 80 CPC it is mandatory to serve a notice before the institution of a suit against the government or against a public officer, which was not followed by her. She didn’t comply with section 91, according to which she needed to take permission from the advocate general.
The court also stated that the paragraphs in her petition were also not verified. Court also said they have abused and misused the process of law.