The Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) asserted that 5G would prove to be a “game changer” and lead to “exponential increase in benefits” for the economy and society.
The association – which represents large telcos like Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea – argued that India already has strict norms in place and prescribed standards for electromagnetic radiation limit in telecom sector is far more stringent than global-accepted standards.
“Radiation permitted in India is one-tenth of what is accepted globally so already our systems have taken this into account…Any notion or concern about radiation and impact are misplaced. These are fallacious fears and this always happens whenever a new technology is introduced,” S P Kochhar, Director General, COAI told PTI.
The Delhi High Court on Friday dismissed actress Juhi Chawla’s lawsuit challenging the setting up of 5G wireless networks in the country and slapped a fine of Rs 20 lakh on her and co-petitioners by describing the plea as “defective”, “abuse of process of law” and filed for “gaining publicity”.
Justice J R Midha said the plaintiffs — Chawla and two others — have abused and misused the process of law and wasted the court’s time. The judge said the plaint in which questions have been raised about health hazards due to the 5G technology was “not maintainable” and was “stuffed with unnecessary Scandalous, frivolous and vexatious averments” which are liable to be struck down.
COAI’s Kochhar welcomed the court’s decision and said “it puts to rest motivated rumour mongering that was doing the rounds” and would set the pace for others to “desist from such misadventures”.
It may be recalled that last month, the industry association had slammed false information and rumours linking 5G technology with the spread of COVID-19 and had dismissed the unsubstantiated and unverified claims in this regard.
The COAI had said it came across multiple messages on social media platforms mentioning 5G spectrum trials as the probable cause of rising cases of COVID-19. Kochhar said that since the public outreach by the industry and Department of Telecom, such messages “have gone down drastically”.