Actor Juhi Chawla has moved the Delhi High Court against the setting up of 5G wireless networks in India citing issues such as radiation impact on citizens, animals, flora and fauna. The matter came up for hearing before the bench of Justice C Hari Shankar that transferred the case to another bench. Now, it will be heard on June 2.
Juhi Chawla’s petition
The actor in her petition claimed that that the plan of the telecom industry to start 5G services will result in a significant rise in radiofrequency radiation levels—10 to 100 times more than the present levels. The petition provides once 5G networks come into existence, no person, animal bird, insect, or plant on Earth will be able to avoid round-the-clock throughout the year exposure.
Juhi Chawla said that the 5G plans threaten to provoke serious, irreversible effects on humans and permanent damage to all of the Earth’s ecosystems.
No 5G network in India
As of now, there are no telecom companies offering 5G services in India and the government too is yet to conduct the 5G spectrum auction. The auction is unlikely to happen in 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, several companies have expressed interest in the rollout of 5G services in India. Among it is billionaire Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio. Notably, Jio disrupted the Indian telecom market with its entry in the “only 4G network”. The entry of Jio resulted in market consolidation, with smaller players leaving the telecom sector.
Misleading social media posts on 5G
Earlier this month, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) requested the Union government to remove misleading social media posts linking the 5G technology with the spread of COVID-19.
The association comprises Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea. Although there are no 5G towers in India, the operators, which have a keen interest in starting 5G services in the future, termed the viral messages as “baseless”. COAI wrote to the information technology ministry to urge social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp to remove such posts.
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