New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today
stayed its order for constituting a committee of technical
and medical experts to examine potential health hazards from
over 5,000 mobile phone towers in the capital and refused to
allow MCD seal 2,952 illegal towers in the city.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra
stayed the single judge Bench order of May 31 directing
Telecommunication Secretary and the MCD Commissioner to
constitute a broad-based committee drawing representatives
from NGOs working in the field of telecom, associations of
The court had on May 13 restrained the civic body
from sealing illegal mobile phone towers after cellular
operators approached it challenging the decision of the MCD to
seal the towers of the operators who did not deposit the
raised fee of Rs. five lakh.
The Bench passed the order on an appeal filed by the
MCD challenging the single judge Bench order on setting up of
the committee and allowing cellular companies to operate their
towers by depositing Rs one lakh instead of Rs five lakhs as
fixed by it.
Challenging the order, the municipal body contended
that court cannot interfere in its decision-making process as
being an executive body it has all the right to fix the charge
for mobile operators.
MCD contended that the latest policy has taken due
care of the health and public safety and the citizens would
not be exposed to harmful radiations emitted from the towers.
The municipal body had started the sealing exercise
after the deadline for operators to apply for regularisation
after paying the hiked amount had expired.
MCD had said that out of 5,364 towers in the city,
only 2,412 had requisite permission and the remaining 2,952
were illegal in all the city`s 12 municipal zones.
The MCD had on February 9 brought in a new po licy on
mobile towers revising the guidelines for cell towers and
hiked the amount payable by the service providers to the MCD
for installing a tower from Rs one lakh to Rs 5 lakh.