SC notice to Centre on plea seeking population control

HC had rejected petition calling for steps like 2-child norm

January 10, 2020 09:56 pm | Updated 09:56 pm IST - NEW DELHI

The plea noted that without population control, citizens cannot be guaranteed their rights. Reuters

The plea noted that without population control, citizens cannot be guaranteed their rights. Reuters

The Supreme Court on Friday sought the Centre’s reply to a petition challenging a Delhi High Court order that dismissed a plea for measures, including a two-child norm, to control India’s rising population.

A Bench of Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and Justices B.R. Gavai and Surya Kant issued notice to the Centre and others. The appeal, filed by BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, has challenged the September 3 order, which said it was for Parliament and the State Legislature to enact laws and not the court.

It said the High Court had failed to appreciate that the right to clean air, drinking water, health, peaceful sleep, shelter, livelihood and education guaranteed under Articles 21 and 21A of the Constitution could not be secured for all citizens without controlling the population.

Plea to enact law

“The High Court had failed to appreciate that after a detailed discussion, debate and feedback, Entry 20-A was inserted in List III of the 7th Schedule through the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution in 1976, which permits the Centre and the States to enact a law on population control and family planning,” said the petition, filed through advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey.

It said the High Court did not take note of the fact that after a comprehensive discussion, the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution, headed by former Chief Justice of India M.N. Venkatachaliah, recommended on March 31, 2002, that Article 47A be inserted into the Constitution to control population explosion.

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