You must be wondering what this is about. Well, if you thought you could just violate the fundamental rights of a human being, think again!
In one of the most bizarre judgments this year, Uttarakhand HC at Nainital has ruled to give rivers Ganga and Yamuna the status of a legal entity. Yes, that’s right. All the constitutional fundamental rights under the Indian constitution are now available to these rivers.
Advocate Lalit Miglani, who is presently an advocate of Uttarakhand HC talked to media and reported the issue of Khannan or commonly known as stone crushing the root cause of it. Such stone crushing has been taking place by the boundaries of river Ganga since quite a long time.
Earlier this month, Uttarakhand HC had ridiculed the union as well as the state governments! Their priorities included locating the missing river Saraswati and not stopping Khannan or cleaning Ganga.
The HC at Nainital along with declaring these rivers legal entity, also ruled that there should be a Ganga Administration Board at the centre in order to clean and maintain the most holy river of India.
Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Alok Singh, a division bench decided the matter. Supreme Court had also given certain directives in December, 2016 which weren’t adhered to. This was a huge concern of the bench.
The court noticed some serious irregularities and loopholes in the use of funds allocated for cleaning Ganga. This was back in December 2016 when the court was hearing the PIL by Advocate Miglani.
A special audit had been ordered by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of use of allocated fund in relation to various schemes for cleaning Ganga. Within 6 months the same had to be submitted to the President.
Keeping in mind the previous technicalities, finally the landmark judgment of declaring these rivers a legal entity was passed today!
Not The First Time
Interestingly, it is not just river Ganga which has been accorded the status of a legal entity.
Ecuador, in fact is the first country which recognises rights of nature in their constitution. This constitution of Ecuador was redrafted in 2007-2008 and it was ratified by referendum in September 2008 and now includes a chapter on rights for nature.
A similar ruling was also passed in New Zealand when their parliament passed a bill declaring 145 kms long Whanganui river as a ‘legal person’. In fact, it was also the first river in the world to achieve such a status!
And finally, the rivers Ganga and Yamuna in India!
Well, well, well. Seems like Ganga maa is soon gonna sue a lot of people for violation of it’s Article 21 of the Indian constitution.
Wondering what’s that? Google, you lazy butt!
Picture Credits: Google Images
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.