The Allahabad High Court on Monday directed a writ petitioner to make a representation before the Registrar General with respect to utilization of A-4 size paper with printing on both sides in official as well as judicial functioning in all the courts across the state of Uttar Pradesh.
"The petitioner however, is at liberty to submit a detailed demand notice to the respondents and on denial of that or having no result thereon within a reasonable time, the petitioners may approach under Article 226 of the Constitution," a division bench comprised of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Ramesh Sinha ordered.
The direction was passed after the bench noticed that the Petitioners, law students at the Allahabad University, had not approached the concerned authority before invoking the writ jurisdiction of the Court.
"The issue sought to be agitated by the petitioners requires serious consideration in administrative side. It is also well settled that the condition to have a writ in the nature of mandamus is that a person demanding such writ must first approach the authority concerned against whom relief is sought. The petitioners before approaching this Court have not satisfied such condition precedent. In view it, we are not inclined to interfere in the matter at this stage," the order states.
The Petitioners had approached the Court with a view 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.
They had also 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.
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.
Case Title: Saumitra Anand & Ors. v. Registrar General, HC & Ors.
Case No.: PIL No. 665/2020
Quorum: Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Ramesh Sinha
Appearance: Advocates Ankur Azad and Shashwat Anand (for Petitioners); CSC Ashish Mishra (for Respondents)
Click Here To Download Order