SC Denies Petition to Allow Both Sides to Utilise A-4 Size Documents in all Judicial & Quasi-Judicial Proceedings

Gavel Law Insider

Sakina Tashrifwala

Published on: November 3, 2022 at 19:37 IST

The Supreme Court denied a petition to allow both sides to utilise A-4 size documents in all judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings. A bench of CJI UU Lalit, Justices Ravindra Bhat and Bela M Trivedi heard the case.

The petition was filed by the “Youth Bar Association of India,” and it asked High Courts, Tribunals, Judicial and Quasi-court authorities in India to explore modifying laws to allow for the use of both sides of a page in all judicial proceedings. In this regard, necessary guidelines were sought.

The bench, however, was not persuaded and instructed the counsel to withdraw the case. As a result, the petition was withdrawn.

According to the petition-

“According to figures released by the Indian Paper Manufacturers Association (IPMA), the Indian paper sector accounts for roughly 4% of global paper output; per capita paper consumption in India is about 13 kg, and it is expected to rise to 23.5 kg by 2025.”

According to the petition, the production of paper uses a large amount of natural resources, such as trees and water, as its basic materials.

Furthermore, the discharge of pulp and paper industry effluent or effluent from the Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) into rivers causes a drop in water quality in terms of high Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) or Dissolved Oxygen (DO) or an increase in water toxins.

According to the petition, excessive paper use causes considerable environmental damage.

The petition further stated-

“On a national scale, 13914226 (One Crore Thirty Nine Lakh Fourteen Thousand Two Hundred Twenty Six) cases have been filed in subordinate courts and 113012 (One Lakh Thirteen Thousand Twelve) new cases have been filed in High Courts alone.”

“Considering all these cases to be of mere 50 pages, using single sided prints a total of 601775200 (Sixty Crore Seventeen Lakh Seventy Five Thousand Two Hundred).”

As a result, the petition sought that the cases currently before various High Courts seeking similar reliefs be remanded to the Supreme Court for adjudication, and that the respondents be directed to allow both sides to use A-4 size sheets in all judicial and quasi-judicial processes.

It should be noted that the regime of using A4 size paper with printing on both sides has been adopted and implemented in the Supreme Court of India and several other High Courts, including Kerala High Court, Karnataka High Court, Tripura High Court, and others, and that the colonial era practise of printing on Legal/Foolscap size paper with single side printing has been abandoned.

Several High Courts, however, are evaluating the matter.

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