HC notice to Registrar-General on students’ plea to use A4 size paper in courts

The High Court of Karnataka has ordered issue of notice to its Registrar-General on a PIL petition filed by a group of law students seeking changes in the court’s rule to allow use of A4 size paper for all court proceedings instead of the existing foolscap or legal size paper.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S. Kinagi passed the order on the petition filed by Akriti Agarwal of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, Bhavana M. of Bengaluru, and Lakshya Purohit of Udaipur in Rajasthan.

The petitioners have been campaigning for uniform use of the widely available A4 paper in all the courts across the county, instead of the foolscap or legal size paper, a practice adopted since British rule. They have been also campaigning for printing on both sides of the sheets instead of the practice of allowing printing on only one side of the sheets in some courts.

It was pointed out in the petition that based on their requests, the Supreme Court of India, and the High Courts of Calcutta, Kerala and Tripura, had already modified the norms specifying that A4 sheets should be used for all purposes by courts as well as advocates, besides allowing printing on both sides of the sheets. The petitioners stated that A4 sheets were widely available for common people, whereas the foolscap or legal size paper was available only in shops near courts and hence was not easily accessible.


Printing on both sides would result in use of fewer sheets, and thereby help environment, the petitioners contended. The petition said that the petitioner had written a letter in March 2020 to the Registrar-General of the High Court of Karnataka requesting to change the norm, but no action had been taken so far.

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Sagar Biswas

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