We get paper from our nature;therefore, it is our duty to protect nature. With this point of view, Sujay Joshi, a 31-year-old man filed a PIL through Advocate Ranjit Shinde, Advocate Abhay Anturkar, and Advocate Ajinkya Udane appearing on behalf of him before Bombay High Court. The PIL sought directions to the High Court registry to mandate the use of A4 size paper, printed on both sides for the purpose of presentation of all pleadings and supporting documents in High Court.
Petitioner submitted that in best of his knowledge, all the pleadings to be filed before this Hon’ble Court on its original side have to be:
- printed with double spacing between the lines
- on durable foolscap paper
- with an inner margin of about three and a half centimeters wide
- on a single side of the sheet
He submitted that these above-mentioned rules were drafted decades ago which were based on pre-independence colonial practices. He said “ In the past due to low thickness of paper and ink quality, the ink printed on one side of the paper would seep onto another side of the paper, making reading difficult. With the advance in paper printing technology and ink-related technology, such is no longer the case.”
Further, he submitted that it is necessary to review the above-mentioned rules to minimize the consumption of paper and consequently to save the environment.
He stated that the foolscap or legal paper as it is colloquially known is thicker than an A4 paper and requires more pulp to prepare. Consequently, it’s usage causes more damage to the environment than that of an A4 paper.
Petitioner also mentioned that the Supreme Court has already issued a circular stating that from 1st April, filings on the judicial side will be in A4 size paper with both side printing. In view of this circular many other High courts allowed filings in A4 size paper. This circular was passed in view of minimizing the consumption of paper.
On 25th April 2019, the High Court of Himachal Pradesh introduced rules for electronic filing in the High Court as well as subordinate courts in the state.
The bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni who were hearing this case directed the registry to place the matter before the Chief Justice on the administrative side to take an appropriate decision.