2 Dec 2020 1:03 PM GMT
A PIL has been filed before the Supreme Court seeking directions to all the High Courts, Tribunals, Judicial and Quasi-judicial bodies in the country, to permit use of A-4 sheets with printing on both sides in all the proceedings The writ petition has been moved by the Youth Bar Association of India through Advocate Manju Jetley, states that use of single side of papers of different...
A PIL has been filed before the Supreme Court seeking directions to all the High Courts, Tribunals, Judicial and Quasi-judicial bodies in the country, to permit use of A-4 sheets with printing on both sides in all the proceedings
The writ petition has been moved by the Youth Bar Association of India through Advocate Manju Jetley, states that use of single side of papers of different sizes in different forums prompts wastage and aggravates the users and manufacturers to abuse resources that are non-renewable.
It highlights the adverse environmental effects attached to the production and use of excessive amount of papers and submits,
"on a national scale, 13914226 (One Crore Thirty Nine Lakh Fourteen Thousand Two Hundred Twenty Six) and 113012 (One Lakh Thirteen Thousand Twelve) new cases have been filed in the sub-ordinate courts and High Courts alone. Considering all these cases to be of mere 50 pages, using single sided prints a total of 601775200 pages (Sixty Crore Seventeen Lakh Seventy Five Thousand Two Hundred) were used. Had double side prints been used, it would have saved approx. 36,108 trees along with 3008876000 liters of water."
The plea iterates that production of paper not only requires felling of trees but also gallons of water. Further, the plea underlines that the discharge of pulp into water bodies lead to a decline in water quality in terms of high biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) or dissolved oxygen (DO) or rise of water toxins. Furthermore, it has other environmental complications viz. Air Pollution, Soil Pollution, Water Pollution and imbalance to Biodiversity due to deforestation.
It is averred that every citizen of India is duty bound 'to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life…' under Article 51-A (g) of the Constitution.
Further, the State is under an obligation by virtue of Article 48-A, 'to endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wild life of the country'.
The Petitioner further added that degradation in environment eventually endangers life and thus, the State must ensure preservation of Right to Life and Right to Health of individuals under Article 21 of the Constitution.
"Article 21 has a multidimensional interpretation. Whereas want of pollution free environment has been delineated a fundamental right and human right, the natural resources has been earmarked as Trust upon the present generation, therefore, the present generation has a moral obligation to manage the earth in a manner that will not jeopardize the aesthetic and economic welfare of the forthcoming generation," the plea states.
It may be noted that the regime of using A4 size paper with printing on both sides has been adopted and put in place in the Supreme Court of India and several other High Courts, being Kerala High Court, Karnataka High Court, Tripura High Court, etc., and the colonial era practice of printing on Legal/Foolscap size paper with single side printing has been junked and done away with.
Several High Courts are however in the process of considering the same.
The Petitioner has urged the Top Court to remand the cases which are pending before various High Courts seeking similar reliefs, for adjudication before itself.
Click Here To Download Petition