SC stays HC verdict on Ganga status

In News

The Supreme Court froze the status of legal persons accorded to rivers Ganga and Yamuna by the Uttarakhand High Court in March 2017.

Background

  • High Court had invoked the rivers Ganga and Yamuna 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.
  • The Director, Namami Gange project, for cleaning and rejuvenating the river, the Chief Secretary and the Advocate General of Uttarakhand to act as legal parents of the holy rivers.
  • These officers would be bound to uphold the status of the two rivers and also promote their health and well-being.
  • It had also directed the government to form a Ganga Management Board as per a December 2016 order.
  • The high court had also banned all mining on the river bed and directed eviction of encroachers.

Burden over the state

  • Order cast a huge burden on the state government which was expected to take care of it like a human being and be accountable for its upkeep and preservation.
  • The ruling would make the state solely accountable for its upkeep and preservation when the rivers passed through several states.
  • The central government should then be charged with the task.

Source : The Hindu

GS II : Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

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