The Delhi High Court on Friday rejected Bollywood actor Juhi Chawla’s suit against the rollout of 5G technology in India terming it as publicity stunt and done without any personal knowledge of the issue.
Justice J.R. Midha also imposed a cost of ₹20 lakh on the petitioners in the case, including Ms Chawla, along with Veeresh Malik and Teena Vachani, for wasting the court’s time.
“The plaint is stuffed with unnecessary, scandalous, frivolous and vixatious averments which are liable to be struck down,” the High Court said.
It added that the petitioners have admitted to having knowledge with regard to only certain paras of the petition, and major portion of the petition “based on information and legal advice”.
“Meaning thereby that the plaintiff (Ms Chawla and others) have not personal knowledge of any of the avervements made in the plaint. A plaint based totally on information and legal advice is not maintanable,” the judge said.
“It appears that the petitioners have filed the suit to gain publicity which is clear from the fact that plaintiff no. 1 (Ms Chawla) circulated the video conferencing link of this court on a social media platforms which resulted in repeated disruption of court proceedings,” the high court remarked.
The High Court also issued contempt notice to an unidentifed person who disrupted the online hearing on Wednesday by singing hits songs from Ms Chawla’s movies. It directed the Delhi police to investigate the identity of the person.
The actor, in her plea, had sought a scientific study of any adverse effects of radio-frequency radiation emitted by cellular telecommunications using 5G technology on ‘health, life, organ or limb of adult or child, or to flora and fauna’ before its official roll out in the country.
The petition had sought to a direction to the government and Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) in particular to certify that deployment of 5G technology for cellular communications poses no reasonable risk or hazard.
It had also urged the authorities to rope in Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to conduct their respective study on the issue.
The plea cited the example of Brussels (Belgium), which it claimed became the first major city in the world to actually halt any further steps in the 5G rollout in April 2019 on account of recognized health hazards.