The Supreme Court dismissed as withdrawn a petition on Friday, which sought framing of stringent rules and guidelines for tackling the population explosion in the country, besides ascertaining the feasibility of making the two-child norm mandatory for government jobs, aids, subsidies as well as right to vote, right to contest and right to free shelter.
The Bench of Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice Abhay S. Oka dismissed the Intervening Application filed in the SLP (C) No 27597/2019 on the grounds that the prayers sought in the application were outside the purview of the court and best left for the government to consider.
Stating that it was essentially the task of the government, Justice Kaul asked the petitioner as to how the Court could enact legislation on the matter.
Petitioner-in-Person Ashwini Upadhyay contended that they were seeking a report to be made on the subject by the Law Commission.
To this, the Bench remarked that since it was a social issue, the Law Commission could not do anything in it.
Justice Oka further flayed the petitioner for including prayers such as declaring Sunday as National Population Day in the petition and said this was not the Law Commission’s task to get into such matters.
Upadhyay then pointed out the gravity of the matter, claiming that due to the huge rate of population, the country was facing various perils.
Referring to the data submitted on the subject, Justice Kaul said that he was aware of the material, which suggested that the country’s population was on the declining trend, as compared to other countries.
It further rebuked the petitioner, saying that there should be some reasonability in understanding the job of this Court.
Alleging that the petition was filed only to gain publicity, the Apex Court noted that it was not the job of this Court to give publicity to the petitioner.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Union of India, submitted that the Central Government was doing everything within its capabilities to control the rise in population.
By way of the IA, the petitioner sought directions to the Centre as well as States to frame stringent and effective guidelines for population control, in order to secure the fundamental rights, including the right to clean air, clean water, food, health, peaceful sleep, shelter, livelihood, education and dignity.
The petition further sought direction to both the Central and State governments to ascertain the feasibility of making the two-child norm as a mandatory criterion for government jobs, aids, subsidies as well as right to vote, right to contest and right to free shelter;
It also urged the Supreme Court to direct the Union government, as well as State governments, to declare the First Sunday of every month as ‘Population Control Day'(on the lines of Polio Day), besides providing condoms, vaccines and contraceptive pills to people belonging to EWS and BPL categories.
It also sought direction to the Law Commission to examine the population control laws and policies of the developed countries and prepare a comprehensive Report over the same within three months.
(Case title: Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay vs Ministry of Health & Family Welfare)