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Supreme Court’s Circular to use A4 paper instead of legal paper- An Environmental Bliss!

February 25, 2022
Government Notification Regarding Measures

The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in its circular of 2021 had directed the use of A4 size papers instead of green color legal papers (on both sides print) for all cases as well as Petitions filed before Supreme Court[1]. It was estimated that the use of A4 size sheet paper which would save approximately 2800 trees and 1 crore litre of water annually[2].

The Department of Agriculture, in this context had remarked that , “One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen.” Hence, this decision will not only save paper but will also help in cooling down the temperature by decreasing level of carbon dioxide and other gases. It will also help to curb global warming. This decision aims to prevent deforestation and encourages the use of paper judiciously.

After one year of Supreme Court’s direction, it has now been reported that the use of A4 sheet papers instead of green color legal papers has saved approximately 1.5 Crore paper in a year. Hence, the transition from legal paper to A4 size sheets has helped in saving a huge amount of paper, prevent cutting of trees on large scale and also generate storage space.

Key highlights of Supreme Court’s Circular

  • To bring uniformity in the use & printing of paper and minimizing consumption of paper, the Hon’ble Court has directed usage of best quality A4 size paper (29.7 cm x 21 cm) having not less than 75 GSM printed on both sides of the paper having Font- Times New Roman, Font size- 14, single & half line spacing (for quotations & indents- Font size is 12 with single line spacing), with margin of 2cm on top & bottom and 4cm on left & right, on all the Petitions, Pleadings, Affidavits or any other documents which would be filed in the Supreme Court;
  • The Hon’ble Court has further directed that in accordance with the provisions of Order LIII, Rule 2 of the Supreme Court Rules, 2013, each communication directed from the Registry of the Court shall only be mailed to the concerned Advocate-on-Record followed by an SMS alert on the registered number of the Advocate-on-Record and thereafter the Registry shall discontinue the practice of sending the communication through hard copy.
  • It has also been directed by the Hon’ble Court that the Misc. Applications, Review Petitions, Curative Petitions and Contempt Petitions in disposed of matters may be accepted by the Filing Counter of the Registry by following the existing procedure w.r.t the fresh matters, in the manner of 1+1 (1 set of original papers + 1 paperbook) after curing the defects and the remaining paperbooks shall be filed by the advocates/parties-in-person;
  • Where there are more than one volume in a matter then in such a case a common index is to be placed in the first volume and a separate index of each volume is to be placed in the respective volume(s).

This decision was recommended by a Committee of Justices S. Ravindra Bhat and Hemant Gupta, which was formed by the then Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, as a measure to conserve the environment and prevent felling of trees.

[1] https://ssrana.in/articles/supreme-court-mandates-use-a4-size-paper/

[2] https://theprint.in/judiciary/sc-decision-to-use-a4-size-paper-will-save-2800-trees-1-crore-litre-of-water-annually/557765/

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