National

Plea in Supreme Court seeks stringent population control law

Representational image

Representational image | Photo Credit: The Hindu

A Mathura resident has asked the Supreme Court to direct the government to “ascertain the feasibility” of enacting a “stringent population control law.”

Devkinandan Thakur Ji, the petitioner, said such a law would secure the fundamental rights of citizens, including the “right to peaceful sleep” along with “clean” air, water, food, health and shelter. Mr. Thakur said the injury caused by population explosion for women especially was “extremely large”.

“The impact that repeated child-bearing has on women are seldom highlighted outside niche areas,” the petition said.

It said the “incidents of grand multiparity, which is defined as more than four viable births, in developing countries like India is 20% while it is only 2% in developed countries”.

Govt. stand

In December 2020, in a similar petition filed by advocate Ashwini Upadhyay, the government had clarified that it was against coercing couples into having a “certain number of children” in a bid to curb population explosion.

In fact, the government said the period between 2001-2011 had witnessed the sharpest decline in decadal growth rate among Indians in a 100 years.

“The Family Welfare Programme in India is voluntary in nature, which enables couples to decide the size of their family and adopt the family planning methods best suited to them, according to their choice, without any compulsion,” the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had said in an affidavit.

It said India was a signatory to the Programme Of Action (POA) of the International Conference on Population and Development, 1994, which was unequivocally against coercion in family planning.

“In fact, international experience shows that any coercion to have a certain number of children is counter-productive and leads to demographic distortions,” the Ministry explained.

“Population explosion is more dangerous than bomb explosion and without implementing effective population control measures, Healthy India, Literate India, Prosperous India, Resourceful India, Strong India, Secured India, Sensitive India, Clean India and Corruption and Crime-Free India campaigns won’t succeed,” Mr. Upadhyay had made a strong appeal in court.


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Printable version | Jun 16, 2022 7:55:16 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/plea-in-sc-to-ascertain-feasibility-of-enacting-stringent-population-control-law/article65529838.ece