Regulations
SC stays order barring new Reliance Jio towers in Jaipur
The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the operation of the Rajasthan High Court order that had directed the authorities to dismantle allegedly unauthorised telecom base towers erected by Reliance Jio Infocomm in Jaipur for starting its 4G services.
 
Putting on hold the May 22 order of the high court, the apex court bench of Justice Prafulla C. Pant and Justice Amitava Roy posted the matter for further hearing in the first week of July, and provided interim relief to Reliance Jio till then.
 
“Towers that were already installed should not have been asked to be un-installed in an interim order,” the court said, while posting the matter for further hearing for July 3. But the bench did not stay the high court order on a bar on the installation of more towers by Reliance Jio.
 
This was after senior counsel for Reliance Jio Abhishek Manu Singhvi told the court that they had been served a copy of the petition at 10.30 a.m. on May 22, and by 11.00 a.m. the matter was taken up and the order under challenge was passed. 
 
While suspending the interim order, the apex court also issued notices to Justice I.S. Israni (retd), Satya Narayan Singh, and the central and the Rajasthan governments. Justice Israni and Singh had alleged adverse impact on people's health due to radiation from telecom towers.
 
Singhvi sought to address the "purported public health risks” on account of telecom radiation, and told the court: "The Permissible radiation levels in India are 10 times more stringent than the corresponding international norms.”
 
Assailing the direction on taking into consideration some objections from people living in the vicinity of the site where the towers were proposed to be erected, he told the court that this would result in comtempt plea being moved by the individuals every day.
 
The apex court was told that the Reliance Jio Infocomm counsel who was present in the Rajasthan court was not even given time to take instructions from his client to file a reply. The order, he added, was passed despite a batch of petitions being listed for hearing three days later.
 
The Rajasthan High Court had said since hundreds of towers had already been erected and 1,800 more were in the pipeline in the city, it was found appropriate to bar further installations, except where permissions has been given under the by-laws in consultation with citizens.
 
To this, Reliance Jio had said that no norms had been flouted.
 
"New towers are the only way to obviate the menace of call drops, call failure, interminable buffering of data and video," a spokesperson for the company had said, reacting to the court's order.
 
"While achieving this matter of great public interest, Reliance Jio remains committed to conform to all regulatory requirements and a country-wide broadband network aligned to the government's vision of digital India," the spokesperson added.
 
"Towers (of Reliance Jio) meet and exceed rigorous national and international standards and statutory requirements as mandated by law. Being next-generation and battery-operated, they require very little space on the ground compared to conventional mobile towers."
 
According to available information, new towers are being erected in 2,100 places in the city and some 1,400 of them had already been commissioned. Also among them, while 1,200 towers had formal permissions, 200 towers were deemed to have been approved.
 
The petition mentioned that as per an order issued by the city's urban development ministry in February this year, permission for tower erection would deem to have been given, if the matter was not disposed of within 60 days. The period was reduced to 45 days later.
 
Reliance Jio said, besides conforming to the norms, the towers were actually also "green" as they do not require accessories like generators and diesel storage. "Also, the towers can be used for vital public infrastructure such as area lighting, public messaging and security."

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COMMENTS

Narendra Doshi

2 years ago

Why does Reliance Jio NOT talkabout 24x7 invisible radiation longterm health/side effects in exact facts and figures? They say it is better than others in the world but which WORLD are they talking about - the advanced or the least progressive of the countries, Pl find solutions BETTER than the BEST in the world, pl.

Brand ambassadors under Consumer Protection Act?
There is a need to fix the liability of Brand Ambassadors for the claims they make while endorsing products, charges a traders' body
 
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has asked all brand ambassadors who endorse a product, and thus influence choice of customers and promote sales, to be brought under the gambit of Consumer Protection Act.
 
CAIT, in a letter to Ram Vilas Paswan, union minister for consumer affairs, said, "There is a need to fix the liability of Brand Ambassadors as well for the good claims made by them in their endorsements for the product. Brand Ambassadors act as service providers in entire sales mechanism and therefore they become subject to Consumer Protection Act. In addition, the money taken as consideration by the Brand Ambassadors is generally accounted in the cost of product and that is why the notice issued to Madhuri Dixit by Food Department is a correct step in right direction."
 
The CAIT has also demanded formulation of specific guidelines for endorsement of products since such endorsements have direct impact on consumers. The CAIT has taken this step following issuance of notice by Food Department to Bollywood actor Madhuri Dixit for making claims in endorsement of Maggie. 
 
"Engaging Brand Ambassadors for promotion of product has become a fashion in the Country and often the Consumer is trapped by such endorsement irrespective of quality of the product. Therefore, in order to protect Consumers, there is a need to bring Brand Ambassadors under the ambit of Consumer Protection Act," the traders’ body said.
 

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Raja conspired with others to favour ineligible telecom firms: ED
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday told a special court hearing a money laundering case related to allocation of 2G spectrum that former telecom minister A. Raja had conspired with other accused to grant telecom licences to ineligible firms.
 
For this, Rs.200 crore was paid by promoters of Swan Telecom Pvt. Ltd., using their group entity Dynamix Realty, to Kalaignar TV, through Kusegaon Realty Pvt. Ltd. and Cineyug Media and Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. (Cineyug Films), ED's Special Public Prosecutor Anand Grover told Special Judge O.P. Saini during final arguments in the case. 
 
This amount was given in the garb of legitimate financial transaction, that is as loan/share application money, he added. 
 
Grover further said that the payment was in reality illegal gratification for and on behalf of Raja and his associates in lieu of illegal favours extended to the STPL for the grant of Unified Access Services (UAS) licence.
 
The ED further said that its investigation has revealed that the return of Rs.200 crore has been shown along with an additional sum of money in order to show this illegal payment as legal and bona fide financial transactions.
 
The amount was returned on the date Raja was summoned for questioning by the Central Bureau of Investigation. 
 
After hearing the prosecution for a while, the court posted the matter for July 27 for further arguments. 
 
Along with Raja, DMK chief M. Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu Ammal and others are facing trial in the money laundering case relating to the allocation of 2G spectrum.
 
The accused have been booked under various sections of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

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