Supreme Court PIL seeks directions from SC to Centre over steps...

PIL seeks directions from SC to Centre over steps to mitigate over population

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New Delhi, Apr 5 (ILNS) A petition was today filed in the Supreme Court, seeking writ order or direction to the Centre to frame rules, regulations and guidelines, to effectively mitigate the problem of over population.

The PIL was filed by Dandi Swami Jeetendranand Saraswati through Advocate Sanjay Kumar Pathak under Article 32.

The petitioner stated that he was filing the PIL for the benefit of common citizens, particularly women, poor, disabled, economically weaker section and socially -economically and down-trodden people, as they were incapable of accessing the court themselves, to secure their basic fundamental and human rights guaranteed under Article 21.

The petitioner said the basic fundamental rights like the Right to live with human dignity, Right to clean air, Right to drinking water, Right to health, Right to shelter, Right to livelihood and Right to education guaranteed under the Constitution will remain elusive, unless the respondents give due consideration to the proposals made by the National Commission to Review the working of the Constitution (NCRWC) to mitigate the problem of over population.

At present, the population of India is close to 1.39 billion, which is about 17.8 percent population of the world. But, India has only two percent agricultural land and only four percent drinking water of the world. In the US, 10,000 children are born everyday whereas in India, 70,000 children are born every day, it said.

Over population is also the main cause of the pitiable condition of India’s International Ranking. India is ranked 103rd in the Global Hunger Index, 43rd in Suicide Rate, 168th in Literacy Rate, 133rd in World Happiness Index, 125th in Gender Discrimination, 124th in Minimum Pay, 42nd in Employment Rate, 66th in Rule of Law Index, 43rd in Quality of Life Index, 51st in Financial Development Index, 177th in Environment Performance Index, 139th in GDP Per Capita, noted the PIL.

It was highlighted in the PIL that according to the United Nation Parameters, BPL Population of India was more than 50 crore in 2011. It is not a trifling matter that the population density is at a humongous 404 persons per square kilometer of area, whereas the global density is at a nominal 51 persons per square kilometer of land area. The enormity of the crisis becomes quickly apparent when the population density figures of certain other countries (both developed as well as developing nations) are juxtaposed with that of India. While developed nations such as the US and the UK are at population densities of 33 and 271 persons respectively per square kilometre, those in countries of comparable economic conditions such as Brazil and South Africa ,fair tremendously better with a density figure of 25 and 46 persons per square kilometer, respectively. China, being the most populous country in the world, has a population density of only 144 persons per square kilometer.

Several campaigns launched by the Governments and the  resources allocated for such campaigns are not likely to achieve the desired results unless a duly considered policy to check over -population is put in place, the PIL read.

The NCRWC, after elaborate work for two years, suggested addition of Article 47A in the Constitution and formulation of Population Control Law. But no consideration has been given by the Governments to the recommendations of NCRWC , it alleged.

The Petitioner claimed that in 1976, Entry 20A was inserted in the List III (Concurrent List) to Schedule VII of the Constitution which is “Population Control and Family Planning”. However, the years following the said amendment has only brought to light the apathy of respondent in tackling the problem of Over population, and the entire scheme of population control and family planning has been left for implementation by the States.

The macro level policy for the nation was laid down by the Union Government, therefore, it is imperative that a national level policy to address the issue of over population is laid down by the Central Government. Over population cuts across various sectors, which can be meaningfully controlled or tempered by the intervention of the state, the Petition stated. ILNS/SNG/RJ

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