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March 21st 2017 E-Governance & Public Administration Current Affairs

Ganga and Yamuna Rivers Recognized as Living Entity

  • The Uttarakhand High Court in its popular verdict has recognized the Ganga and Jamuna Rivers as the living entities.
  • For the first time in the history of verdicts, the court has recognized a non-human as a living entity.
  • Hindus consider these two rivers as scared, millions throng to the river during auspicious occasions.
  • The two-rivers have sustained enormous damage caused by the human beings.
  • The High Court Bench lead by Alok Singh and Justice Rajiv Sharma gave a ground-breaking verdict on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Mohammad Salim in 2014.
  • To protect the streams and tributaries of both the sacred rivers, they are declared as the legal persons [or] living persons.
  • The rivers will have legal rights equal to that of a person, the mandate aims to protect and preserve this pious river.

Interesting Fact:

There are judgements similar to the Uttarakhand High Court’s judgement in the world.

  • New Zealand Parliament cleared a bill which madeWhanganui River(145km long river) as a legal person.
  • Ecuador is the only nation in the world which included a separate chapter: Rights for Nature. This nation adopted constitution in 2008.

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