Uttarakhand High Court Current Affairs - 2019
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The Uttarakhand High Court has declared entire animal kingdom i.e. all animals, including avian and aquatic species as legal entities with rights, duties and liabilities of living person. The order was given by Division Bench of Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Lok Pal.
The Division Bench of High Court was hearing PIL by Narayan Dutt Bhatt, filed in 2014 where petitioner had sought directions to restrict movement of horse carts (tongas) between India and Nepal through Banbasa in Champawat district of Uttarakhand. However, High Court had enlarged scope of petition in larger public interest to promote protection and welfare of the animals.
The court ruled that entire animal kingdom, including avian and aquatic ones are legal entities and have distinct persona with corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of living person. All the citizens throughout state are hereby declared persons in loco parentis as human face for welfare and protection of animals.
It directed State Government that no animal, including horses moving between India and Nepal, carries excess weight. It also banned use of any sharp equipment throughout state to avoid bruises, swelling, abrasions or severe pain to animals.
It also directed all veterinary doctors across Uttarakhand to mandatorily treat animals brought to them by citizens of the state. If animal cannot be brought to doctor, then vet must personally visit and attend the stray cattle, or animal without delay.
In common law jurisprudence, there are two types of persons, natural persons or human beings and artificial person, which are also known as juristic persons, juridical entity or legal person other than natural person. Legal or juristic persons are created by law and recognised as legal entity, having distinct identity, legal personality and besides duties and rights. They include private business firm or entity, non-governmental or government organisations, trusts and societies, besides others.
The Uttarakhand High Court has ordered a complete ban on all mining activities in the state for four months.
The court gave this order while hearing on Public Interest Litigation (PIL). It comes after a forest guard was allegedly killed by illegal miners near Corbett National Park when he had tried to stop them.
- The HC bench ordered the state government to constitute a high-powered committee to look into various aspects of mining activities and find out whether mining activity should be permitted in the state at all.
- The committee will also prepare a 50-year blueprint taking into consideration environment limits vis-a-vis mining operations and submit an interim report within four month.
- It will also assess the damage caused to the rivers, springs, rivulets and environment and ecology of Uttrakahnd by mining and determine compensation payable to the persons affected by mining activities.
- It will identify places to be earmarked for safe mining so that there would be no loss of revenue to the government and requirements of people can also meet at the same time.
- Till the committee submits its report, there shall be a complete ban on mining activities, including in forest areas, rivers, rivulets and streams.
- The HC held that Shivalik region of the Himalayas is further getting fragile by mining activities. Mining activities needs to be regulated by the state to ensure that no illegal mining is carried out.
- It directed state government not to grant any fresh licence/mining lease/prospecting licence, in any form till the final report is furnished by the high powered committee to this court.
The HC order will stop mining in interstate rivers such as Ganga, Yamuna and also nearly 100 seasonal rivers and rivulets on foothills of the state, apart from forest areas.