Saturday, July 8, 2017

Indian Supreme Court rules rivers are not people

India's sacred Ganges and Yamuna rivers cannot be considered "living entities", the country's top court has ruled, suspending an earlier order that granted them the same legal rights as humans.


The Supreme Court stayed a March order by a lower body that recognised the Ganges and its tributary the Yamuna as "legal persons" in an attempt to protect the highly polluted rivers from further degradation.

The landmark ruling made polluting or damaging the rivers legally comparable to hurting a person, and saw three top government officials appointed as custodians.

But the Himalayan state of Uttrakhand, where the Ganges originates, petitioned the top court arguing the legal status to the venerated rivers was "unsustainable in the law".

In its plea, the state said the ruling was unclear on whether the custodians or the state government was liable to pay damages to those who drown during floods, in case they file damage suits.
 [rte.ie]
7/7/17

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