The Madras High Court has held that telecommunication firms cannot be prevented from erecting cell phone towers on a mere apprehension about the effect of radiation from such cell phone towers.
“Till a positive finding is given in this regard, cell phone towers cannot be prevented to be installed on mere apprehensions,” the judge added.
Indus Towers Limited engaged in the business of providing broadband internet services and other allied services had contended that it had entered into a lease agreement with the owner of the property in Thirumullaivoyal and had taken steps to install the cell phone tower. But residents of the area came to the spot and started causing hindrance to the company officials from carrying out the construction work. A representation was also made to the Thirumullaivoyal police to provide them with protection. However, the said police had not acted on their complaint and therefore the present criminal original petition has been filed.
The plea also contended that the Tamil Nadu government has granted exemption to all telecom companies to install telephone towers by virtue of Government Order passed in GO MS No 2 dated April 01, 2002.
Based on this, Justice Anand Venkatesh directed the police to ensure that the entire process of installing the tower goes on in a smooth manner, without giving rise to any law and order problem. He also directed Indus Towers Limited to pay Rs10,000 to Thirumullaivoyal police station towards police protection.
The judge also offered a similar direction in respect of installing cell phone tower at the Tamil Nadu Housing Board Quarters, Phase III within the Sathuvacheri Police Station in Vellore District, wherein the company faced public protests.