The Allahabad High Court has permitted the use of A4 size paper for all Judicial and Administrative purposes in the High Court and all other Courts, Tribunals and District Courts subordinate to it.
The Registrar (J)(Inspection) informed that the High Court’s Administrative Committee has resolved to permit the use of A4 size paper for all judicial and administrative filings before all the judicial forums in Uttar Pradesh.
It has been further resolved to place the matter before the Rules Committee for necessary amendments in the Allahabad High Court Rules, 1952, General Rules (Civil), 1957 and General Rules (Criminal), 1977. It is pertinent to point out that the communication is silent as to printing on both the sides of the paper.
The said communication was addressed to the Petitioners and Advocates in the PIL titled Saumitra Anand & Ors. v. Registrar General, HC & Ors., PIL No. 665/2020, wherein a direction was sought to implement the use of A4 Size paper with double-sided printing, instead of legal-size paper with one side printing, for filings in all the courts across the state.
Significantly, this plea was disposed of with an observation that the matter requires serious consideration on administrative side. The Petitioners were accordingly directed to make a representation before the Registrar General of the High Court for use of A4 size paper in courts.
Pursuant thereof, the Petitioners served a Demand Notice dated 28/07/2020 and subsequently, a Reminder Notice dated 15/10/2020 upon the High Court Registry.
Responding to these notices, the Registry in matter of use of A4 size paper in courts said,
“The Hon’ble Administrative Committee has considered the said Demand Notice in the meeting dated 05.11.2020 and resolved to accept the Demand Notice to the extent of use of A4 size paper for all Judicial and Administrative purposes in the High Court, Allahabad and all other Courts, Tribunals and District Courts subordinate to High Court of Judicature at Allahabad, and further resolved to place the matter before Hon’ble Rules Committee for necessary amendments in the Allahabad High Court Rules, 1952, General Rules (Civil), 1957 and General Rules (Criminal). 1977. The matter is scheduled to be considered by Hon’ble Rules Committee in the next meeting of the Committee.“
The Petitioners namely Saumitra Anand, Sagar, Shubham Mishra, Anup Shukla and Vidit Jaiswal, are law students of the Faculty of Law, University of Allahabad. They had moved the High Court through Advocates Shashwat Anand and Ankur Azad. Upon receiving no intimation in the said behalf, they had recently filed a fresh PIL in the High Court on 19/11/2020, re-contesting the issue.
According to the filing Advocates, peculiarly, the said communication is silent on the issue of printing on both sides of the paper.
According to them, “A4 size paper with printing on both sides – if has not been allowed, will have serious and devastating repercussions for the environment, resulting in even a greater amount of damage to the flora and fauna, resulting from the incessant chopping of trees and sheer wastage of water.
To illustrate the same, for instance, a writ petition which takes about 100 Legal/Foolscap size pages to print, will take around 120-130 A4 size pages to print, and if the petition is not allowed to be printed on both sides, the same will end up consuming more than 200-300 litres of extra water, in that one finished sheet of paper requires 10 litres (avg.) of water to prepare, in addition to resulting in chopping of more trees. This will end up doing more harm than good, if printing on both sides is not allowed.“