NEW DELHI: A plea was filed in the Supreme Court on Friday seeking a direction that political parties should comply with the 'two-child norm' and not field candidates having more than two children.
The plea, which is likely to be listed for hearing in the next week, sought a declaration of the 'two-child norm' as a mandatory criterion for government jobs, aids and subsidies and urged that the law, dealing with the "condition for recognition of a state or national party" be suitably amended.
The plea, filed by BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay, said that non-compliance of the norm should lead to the withdrawal of citizens' statutory rights including the right to vote and contest elections.
It also sought to declare of first Sunday of every month as 'health day' to spread awareness against population explosion and providing contraceptive pills, condoms, vaccines to economically-weaker sections and families below the poverty line.
The petition sought directions to the Centre for setting 21 years as the minimum marriageable age for all citizens and for implementing the 24th recommendation of the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (NCRWC) which proposes to control the population by means of education and implementation of small family norms.
It further said that the two-child norm for contesting local body elections has been adopted by some states like Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Haryana, which has yielded very positive results in reducing the population growth in those states.
"Such two child norm should be adopted by all the states to implement the population control policy to bring fruitful results. People representatives are not only public servants but also a lawmaker. Hence they should set an example for others for adopting two child norms so that common people of the country can be encouraged to emulate two-child norm," the plea said.
It said that India was the first country in the world to have a population policy, but it has not achieved much in terms of population control due to the negligence of governments.
"India was projected to have one billion people in 2011, 15 per cent of the world's population on 2 per cent of the globe's land area. But, now we are around 152 crore and the most populous country in the world. It is pertinent to note that China is three times bigger than India.
While the global population has increased threefold during the previous century, the population of India has increased nearly five times.
The current annual increase in the population of 17.5 million is large enough to neutralize efforts to conserve the natural resources and endowment and environment," the petition said.