[dropcap]T[/dropcap]HE Delhi High Court today issued notice to the Central Government asking it to respond to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay seeking a direction to implement a proposal of the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (NCRWC) on population control and a ‘two-child norm’ criterion for government jobs, aid and subsidies.
“The NCRWC, after making immense efforts for two years and elaborate discussion, had suggested addition of Article 47A in the Constitution and formulation of Population Control Law. Till now the Constitution has been amended 125 times, hundreds of new laws have been enacted, but population control law, utterly required for country, is not made, though it will curtail more than 50 per cent problems of India,” the petition said.
Upadhyay asked the High Court to direct the Centre to set a “two-child norm, as a criteria for government jobs, aids and subsidies, and, may withdraw statutory rights viz. right to vote, right to contest, right to property, right to free shelter, right to free legal aid” for not complying with it.
Upadhyay, who is also a lawyer, in his plea claimed that population explosion was the root cause of crimes like theft, dacoity and snatching.
The NCRWC was set up by a Government Resolution dated February 22, 2000 under the Chairmanship of Justice M N Venkatachaliah. The Commission was to examine, in the light of the experience of the past 50 years how best the Constitution could respond to the changing needs of an efficient, smooth and effective system of governance and socio-economic development of modern India within the framework of a parliamentary democracy, and to recommend changes, if any, that were required in the Constitution without interfering with its basic structure or features. The Commission submitted its report in two volumes to the government on March 31, 2002.
The PIL was heard by a division bench of Delhi High Court comprising Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Brijesh Sethi, which after asking the Centre to reply to the PIL, fixed the next date of hearing on September 3, 2019.