Actor and environmental activist Juhi Chawla's case against the upgradation of 5G telecom network took an unexpected turn in the virtual court on Wednesday, as the online hearing was repeatedly gatecrashed by a fan singing songs from her movies.
Although the person was removed several times from the proceedings, he proved his mettle as a Juhi Chawla fan by re-joining the proceedings and regaling the court with his songs multiple times.
These measures didn't seem to have much effect on the person as the scenario kept repeating, with a new song each time. Journalist Ashmit Kumar faithfully reported the interruptions with all the details.
During HC Hearing of @iam_juhi plea citing radiation risks posed by 5G telecom -— Ashmit Kumar (@AshmitTejKumar) June 2, 2021
Someone joins virtual hearings and starts to sing - Ghoonghat Ki Aad Mein Dilbar Ka!!! He is then removed.
He joins again. Now sings - Lal Lal Hoton Pe Gori Tera Naam Hai!!@CNBCTV18Live pic.twitter.com/ZstovQqOHC
Eventually, the courtroom had to fall back on grim humour. As Chawla's lawyer put it, "Maybe the person is already affected by 4G radiation."
He joins again. This time sings - Meri Banno Ki Aayegi Baraat!!— Ashmit Kumar (@AshmitTejKumar) June 2, 2021
Lawyer for Juhi Chawla Says - Maybe the person is already affected by 4G radiation!!
The excitement got the better of some of the other people, too, who had joined the hearing. Chawla may have been expecting wholesome support for her cause but things turned out quite another way, it would seem.
Court says it will start once note from Khosla is received.— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) June 2, 2021
Someone keeps interrupting: Where is Juhi ma'am? I can't see Juhi ma'am. #JuhiChawla
Chawla, a former Miss India and immensely successful Bollywood actor, has reinvented herself as an environmental activist in recent years. Her newest crusade is against the upgradation to 5G mobile telephone networks, which is expected to roll out in India by 2022.
In her case, Chawla has asked questions about the environmental costs of such a move and its impact on the health of the planet, animals and humans. However, the science on the harmful effects on "radiation" from 5G towers is not clear yet.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), “no adverse health effect has been causally linked with exposure to wireless technologies,” though WHO also added that enough studies have been done in this regard so far.
Aside from the merits of the case, a takeaway from the hearings ought to be the perils of giving unfettered access to the public to virtual courtrooms.
In a related incident in February, a lawyer accidentally turned on a cat filter on his computer during a virtual hearing in Texas, US. County attorney Rod Ponton helplessly struggled to explain the situation by saying, "I'm here live, I'm not a cat," to which the bemused judge replied, "I can see that."