Cell phone towers: SC to hear operatorsí plea

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SummaryWe donít want that to happen. So hear us urgently said senior counsel appearing for the companies.

Citing a possibility of severe disruption in cellular services in the state, telecom operators on Friday moved the Supreme Court against a Rajasthan High Courtís order on removal of all mobile phone towers, installed overhead or in the vicinity of schools, hospitals and playgrounds.

The operators mentioned the matter before a Bench led by Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir and sought an urgent hearing of their plea, particularly their request to pass an interim stay order on the directions of the High Court.

The Bench agreed to hear the matter on Monday after the counsel for the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and others pointed out that the deadline for removal of towers ends on January 27 and that the companies would not want to incur further legal troubles by getting hauled up for contempt of court.

ďThe entire cellular service will come to an end in Rajasthan. If we donít get an urgent hearing, tomorrow somebody will claim we have failed to comply with the High Court order and hence liable to contempt. We donít want that to happen. So hear us urgently,Ē said senior counsel appearing for the companies.

The counsel added that they had been in talks with the government over radiation and other norms relating to the mobile towers and were trying to work out a solution that leads to uniformity across the states on the subject.

Earlier in September last, another Bench of the Supreme Court had refused to interfere with the HCís interim order asking the state government to remove cell phone towers from near the schools, hospitals and densely populated localities.

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