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Bombay High Court Allows Use Of A4 Size Paper For Pleadings Across Courts In Maharashtra

Sharmeen Hakim
14 July 2021 9:43 AM GMT
Bombay High Court Allows Use Of A4 Size Paper For Pleadings Across Courts In Maharashtra
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The Bombay High Court has mandated the use of A4 size paper of superior quality with no less than 75 GSM, printed on both sides, for pleadings and supporting documents across courts in Maharashtra via a circular. The notification amending the Bombay High Court (Appellate Side) Rules, 1960 and the Bombay High Court (Original Side) Rules, 1980 to use A4 size paper to minimize...

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The Bombay High Court has mandated the use of A4 size paper of superior quality with no less than 75 GSM, printed on both sides, for pleadings and supporting documents across courts in Maharashtra via a circular.

The notification amending the Bombay High Court (Appellate Side) Rules, 1960 and the Bombay High Court (Original Side) Rules, 1980 to use A4 size paper to minimize paper consumption and consequently save the Environment was issued on July 6, 2021.

"All the pleadings, petitions, affidavits or other documents, etc. filed in the Registry, on Judicial side for the purpose of filing in the High Court and its Benches at Nagpur, Aurangabad and Panaji (Goa) and all other Courts in the State of Maharashtra, must have a following specifications," the circular said.

Superior quality A4 size paper having not less than 75 GSM with printing on both sides of the paper with Font - Times New Roman or Georgia, Font size 14 with inner margin of 5 cms and outer margin of 3 cms.

"The corresponding amendments to Civil Manual will have to be made for this new norm to be applicable in subordinate courts," Advocate Sudeep Nargolkar representing the Registrar General of the Bombay High Court said while speaking to Live Law.

Advocate Ajinkya Udane had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) before the Bombay High Court seeking directions to the High Court registry to mandate the use A4 size papers.

He cited the Supreme Court circular that stated that filings on the judicial side would be in A4 size paper with both sides printed from April 1, 2020, onwards.

When the matter came up before the bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni on Tuesday, advocate Sudeep Nargolkar, informed the court that an appropriate notification and circular had been issued and Udane's grievance stands redressed.

Advocate PR Katneshwar appearing from Udane said that the change should apply to all subordinate courts.

Nargolkar said that a separate representation should be made for subordinate courts as well.

The CJ then disposed of the petition granting liberty to the petitioner to make an appropriate representation for subordinate courts.

In October 2020, Udane had filed a plea seeking similar reliefs for advocate Sujay Joshi. However, the HC disposed of the petition, asking him first to make a representation before the registry.

Udane had said he approached the registry in December 2020, but they were yet to decide on his representation. Therefore, they should be directed to issue appropriate directions on his representation, and by way of ad-interim reliefs, the use of A4 size papers should be used for all pleadings, he had said.

On April 25, 2019, the Himachal Pradesh High Court issued rules for electronic filing in the High Court as well as subordinate courts in the State, the PIL states, adding, High Courts at Tripura, Kerala and Karnataka have also allowed filing in A4 size paper.

The petitioner had contended-

"The mandate to submit any pleading in a fullscape paper, with double spacing, wide left margin, and printed only on a single side of the sheet leads to tremendous wastage of paper. Interestingly to the best of the knowledge of the petition, the aforementioned Rules that were drafted decades ago were based on pre-Independence colonial practices. In the past, due to low thickness of paper and ink quality, the ink printed on one side of the paper would seep on the other side, making reading difficult."

"With the advance in paper printing technology and ink related technology, such is no longer the case. Thus it is necessary for this High Court to revisit the aforementioned rules and issue appropriate directions in the contemporary sense to bring uniformity about the use of paper and printing thereon and to minimize consumption of paper, and consequently to save the environment," the petition said.

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