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Tuesday, August 03, 2021

With eye on environment, Bombay HC switches to A4 size paper for pleadings

A public interest litigation (PIL) was filed by lawyer Ajinkya Udane, who said that using A4 size paper for all judicial and administrative work instead of the current practice of using only one side of larger-sized sheets would save paper, result in felling of fewer trees and free up storage space in the court.

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai |
Updated: July 14, 2021 6:41:13 pm
Bombay High Court Advocate S R Nargolkar, who appeared for the High Court administration, informed the bench that a notification about using only high-quality A4 size sheets printed on both sides in the court, had been issued, amending the Bombay High Court Rules. (File)

In a bid to minimize paper consumption and “save the environment”, the Bombay High Court has decided to allow lawyers to file pleadings using A4 size paper that is printed on both sides, replacing the green-colour foolscap size paper.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni was hearing a plea by advocate Ajinkya Mohan Udane seeking the use of A4 size paper instead of Green foolscap paper for pleadings. The switch to A4 will help in saving huge amounts of paper and storage space and, consequently, a large number of trees, Udane said.

The High Courts of Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, Kerala, Karnataka, Calcutta and Allahabad have earlier taken similar decisions to allow pleadings using A-4 size papers.

Advocate S R Nargolkar, representing the high court administration, submitted that a notification was issued on July 6, which amended HC Rules to implement use of ‘superior quality’ A4 size papers with not less than 75 GSM, with printing on both sides of the paper and Times New Roman or Georgia fonts with size 14, in place of foolscap size green paper, except for judgements of the court.

On Wednesday, Registrar General of HC Mahendra W Chandwani issued a circular which stated, “It is notified for the information of all concerned that considering the difficulties being faced by the members of the Bar/parties-in-person with regard to use of A4 size paper and with a view to bring uniformity about use of paper in day-to-day working on the administrative side, to minimize consumption of paper and consequently to save the environment, the Chief Justice and the Judges of the Bombay High Court direct that henceforth, the Registry shall use A4 size paper (on both sides) for internal communications at all levels in the Registry.”

The circular added, “It is, however, clarified that all the pleadings, petitions ,affidavits or other documents, etc. filed in the Registry, on Judicial side for the purpose of filing in the High Court and its Benches at Nagpur, Aurangabad and Panaji (Goa) and all other Courts in the State of Maharashtra, the said specifications of paper type would be applicable:“

The managing committee members of the various bar associations of the lawyers practicing in the Bombay High Court said that such a decision would save at least 60 per cent of the papers used for pleadings in HC.

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