A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Abhay S. Oka queried the petitioner advocate Ashwini Upadhyay, if now the court will decide this? It told him that there has to be some reasonableness.
Upadhyay argued that while India only had 2 per cent of the world’s land, it had 20 per cent of its population. The bench remarked that the plea was outside the purview of the court and was best left for the government to consider.
Noting that Upadhyay was seeking for a two-child norm to be mandated, the bench said let the legislature do it and it is not the court’s task. “What can the Law Commission do about this? It’s a social issue and let the government take this into account,” it added.
The bench pointed out the prayers made in the pleas filed by Upadhyay and others, saying: “You have made all sorts of prayers like declaring Sunday as National Population Day. How can the Law Commission get into all this. Is this the Law Commission’s task?”
Upadhyay said the matter was of grave importance and pointed to data relating to population growth.
But, the bench said: “We will not touch the issue. This is the government’s job.”
Centre’s counsel submitted that the government was doing everything within its capabilities to control the rise in population. The top court said it was not inclined to entertain the plea and Upadhyay proceeded to withdraw it.
The plea filed by Upadhyay sought direction from the Centre to control the population explosion in order to secure the basic rights guaranteed under Articles 14, 15, 19, and 21 of the Constitution.
The plea sought directions from the Centre to ascertain the feasibility of enacting a stringent population control law in order to secure fundamental rights mainly rule of law, right to air, right to water, right to food, right to health, right to sleep, right to shelter, right to livelihood, right to justice and right to education guaranteed under Articles 14, 19, 21, 21A.
“In the alternative, direct the Law Commission of India to examine the population control laws and population control policies of the developed countries and suggest the population control steps in order to secure the fundamental rights…, ” said one of the prayers made in the petition.