The Centre has told the Delhi High Court that an expert panel was looking into whether mobile phone providers had violated guidelines put in place for issuing licences for installation of signal towers.

In an affidavit filed before a Division Bench in reply to a public interest litigation seeking a direction to remove mobile towers from residential premises and public places and to ban their installation at these sites in future, the government said that service providers are required to obtain necessary permission from local bodies before installation of towers.

Service providers are required to take clearance from the pollution control boards, fire safety departments, environment and forest departments of the States concerned and owners of the premises where towers were to be installed.

Petitioner A.S. Jain submitted that radiation emitted by these towers was hazardous to human beings staying within a 50-metre radius. He submitted that radiation was also carcinogenic and particularly caused brain cancer.

Radiation values and norms in other countries are more stringent and the exposure allowed is much lower, but India has no rules and norms regarding this, the petitioner said.