Expanding on a previous judgment in which it recognised the Ganga and Yamuna rivers as legal entities, the High Court of the Indian state of Uttarakhand now grants legal rights to the ecosystem.
In a broad ruling on March 30, 2017, the High Court of the Indian state of Uttarakhand stated:
We, by invoking our parens patriae jurisdiction, declare glaciers including Gangotri & Yamunotri, rivers, streams, rivulets, lakes, air, meadows, dales, jungles, forests wetlands, grasslands, springs and waterfalls, legal entity/ legal person/juristic person/juridicial person/ moral person/artificial person having the status of a legal person, with all corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a living person, in order to preserve and conserve them. They are also accorded the rights akin to fundamental rights/ legal rights.
This followed from an order on March 20, 2017 – startling in itself – in which the Uttarakhand HC had declared the Ganga (Ganges) and Yamuna rivers as legal entities based on the fact that they are considered sacred to Hindus. Based on that order, a group of citizens had petitioned the court that the “Himalayas, Glaciers, Streams, Water Bodies etc. be declared as legal entities as juristic persons at par with pious rivers Ganga and Yamuna.”
Originally posted to The Daily Catch : www.theterramarproject.org/thedailycatch
Photo: Rajarshi MITRA-Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)
To view the Creative Commons license for the image, click here .