A PIL has been filed before the Allahabad High Court seeking to implement the use of A4 Sheets with double-sided printing, instead of legal-size paper with one side printing, for filings in all the courts across Uttar Pradesh.
The petition has been filed by 5 Law Students of the Faculty of Law, University of Allahabad, through Advocates Shashwat Anand and Ankur Azad.
It may be noted that the Supreme Court and the High Courts of Calcutta and Tripura have already permitted the use of A4 size papers, with print on both the sides, in a bid to minimize paper consumption.
The present plea also aims to downsize environmental degradation, by eliminating unnecessary and excess use of paper, which directly equates to, inter alia, the cutting of trees, depletion and over-exploitation of forests and water resources, and also large-scale pollution.
"The rational usage of paper is in essence, the saving of the cutting of trees, conservation of forests and water resources, and protection of the environment, wild life and human life, in conformity with the Constitutional mandate to the State as envisaged under Article 48-A, read with, Article 51-A(g), and enshrined under Right to Life, Right to Water and Right to Live in a Clean and Healthy Environment as guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution," the Petitioners aver.
The Petitioners have further pointed out that usage of Legal Size Paper with one side printing costs more and unnecessarily pinches the pockets of the litigants, much less, hits hard upon the pockets of poor litigants coming from weaker and underprivileged sections.
"Saving the paper costs, by using A4 Size sheets with printing on both sides, and thereby saving the unwarranted and unnecessary costs of the proceedings, would directly benefit the ordinary litigants, muchless be a boon for the poor litigants from weaker and underprivileged sections of the society, and the same would indirectly boost the economy of the State by keeping the money in the pockets of the people/litigants, as it would augment the demand and accordingly the supply," the plea states.
As per the Petitioners, one-sided printing on water-marked/ foolscap/ legal-size paper is a "colonial era practice" prevalent in the times of type-writers, which allowed printing only on one side and the water-marked/ foolscap/ legal-size paper was used so as to preserve the files for a longer period of time.
However now, it is submitted, the same is a futile practice given the technological advancement, enhanced quality of A4 size and digitization of files and court records.
The Petitioner has therefore sought that suitable amendments be made in the Allahabad High Court Rules, 1952, so as to give effect to the directions for the use of A4 Size Paper, with printing on both sides of the paper, for all the pleadings, petitions, affidavits or other documents to be filed across all the courts in UP.
The plea also seeks directions to streamline the Procedure for E-Filing, so as to make it hassle-free and more efficient.
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