5G: Delhi HC Dismisses Juhi Chawla’s Plea, Slaps ₹20 Lakh Fine

Jun 4, 2021 | Pratirodh Bureau

"IT Rules seek to prevent the misuse of the freedom of press," said the affidavit filed in Delhi High Court by the Centre

The Delhi High Court on Friday dismissed the lawsuit filed by actor-environmentalist Juhi Chawla against the setting up of 5G wireless networks in the country, and also imposed a fine of ₹20 lakh for the abuse of the process of law.

Justice J.R. Midha held that the suit filed by Chawla and two others was defective, non-maintainable, and also contained unverified and vexatious assertions.

The High Court also expressed dissatisfaction at Chawla sharing the link of the virtual hearing on her social media account. During the hearing of Chawla’s suit, unknown persons repeatedly caused disturbance by singing Bollywood songs of films in which she had acted.

The court directed the Delhi Police to identify these persons and proceed against them under the law.

Observing that Chawla did not approach any of the 33 defendants named in her suit and instead sought a declaration from the court, the bench said this declaration cannot be allowed under the law. It also said Chawla did not deposit the court fees for her suit and directed her to pay ₹1.95 lakh within one week.

On June 2, the High Court had questioned as to why Chawla had directly filed a suit against setting up of 5G wireless networks without making any representation to the department concerned in the government, and insisted the plaintiffs, Chawla and two others, should have gone to the government first.

The counsel appearing for the Centre said the 5G policy did not fall in the category of public nuisance and it was obviously not prohibited in law.

The counsel representing private telecom companies said that launching of 5G technology is a policy of the government and as it is a policy, it cannot be a wrongful act.

After hearing the arguments in the matter, the court reserved its order.

The plea filed by Chawla, Veeresh Malik and Teena Vachani claimed that 5G wireless technology can be a potential threat to provoke irreversible and serious effects on humans and it could also permanently damage the earth’s ecosystems.

According to PTI, Chawla’s counsel had argued that if the telecom industry’s plans for 5G come to fruition, no person, animal, bird, insect and plant on earth will be able to avoid exposure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to levels of RF radiation that are 10x to 100x times greater than what exists today.