New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a batch of pleas, including one seeking steps for enforcing a two-child norm to control the rising population, saying it is for the government to look at the issue.
Citing media reports about India’s population stabilising despite the rise in births, the apex court said it is not an issue where the court should interfere.
“Population is not something that one fine day it stops,” a bench of Justices S K Kaul and A S Oka observed orally.
Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, one of the petitioners, said a report from the Law Commission on the issue is very important.
Upadhyay had filed a petition in the top court challenging an order of the Delhi High Court dismissing a plea seeking certain steps, including a two-child norm, to control the rising population.
After the apex court said it was not inclined to entertain the plea, he withdrew it.
Besides his plea, the bench also refused to entertain some other petitions filed on the issue, prompting the advocates to withdraw them.
“How do we go into enacting a legislation?” the bench asked at the outset.
When Upadhyay argued his prayer was intended to press for a direction to the Law Commission to prepare a comprehensive report on the issue, the bench asked how can the commission prepare a report on population explosion.
The bench observed the issue raised was about the two-child norm and it was for the government to consider it.
It said the court cannot go into this as there are several social and family issues involved.
“This is for the government to do,” the bench said, asking, “Is this an issue on which we should interfere?”.
“We have better things to do,” the apex court orally observed.
At the fag end of hearing, Upadhyay said India has around two per cent land and four per cent water but 20 per cent population of the world.
On January 10, 2020, the apex court had sought replies from the Centre and others to the plea challenging the high court order.
The appeal had challenged the September 3, 2019 high court order which said it was for Parliament and state legislatures to enact laws and not for the court.
The plea said the high court failed to appreciate that the right to clean air, right to drinking water, right to health, right to peaceful sleep, right to shelter, right to livelihood and right to education guaranteed under Articles 21 and 21A of the Constitution could not be secured to all citizens without controlling the population explosion.
The plea in the high court alleged the population of India had marched ahead of China, as about 20 per cent of Indians did not have Aadhaar and, therefore, were not accounted for, and there were also crores of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis living illegally in the country.
It had claimed the “population explosion is also the root cause of corruption”, apart from being a contributory factor behind heinous crimes like rape and domestic violence. PTI