SC to hear plea for urgent measures against Uttarakhand forest fires

New Delhi, Jan 4 : The Supreme Court will hear next week a plea seeking directions to the Uttarakhand government and the Environment Ministry to take immediate measures to prevent forest fires in the hill state and also protect wildlife and birds from the fires.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian first told petitioner Rituparn Uniyal to move the High Court concerned. “You have prayed for relief with regard to Uttarakhand. You go to the high court there,” the bench told the petitioner.

The petitioner, however, submitted before the apex court that in 2016, the High Court had passed directions on the issue related to forest fire, and there is an appeal pending against this order in the apex court.

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After a brief hearing, the bench said it will take up the plea next week. The plea has argued that forest fires occur regularly in Uttarakhand and every year, it damages the forest ecosystem, diversity of flora and fauna and economic wealth, and thus, sought a direction to the authorities to develop policy to prevent forest fires in the state.

The plea also sought the entire animal kingdom, including avian and aquatic, should be declared legal entities, and they should have duties and liabilities of a living person.

“It is the need of the hour that the concept of legal/juristic personality needs a wide interpretation so as to include in it the whole ecosystem with both biotic and abiotic components of environment. In Hindu mythology, every animal is associated with god. Animals breathe like us and have emotions, intelligence, culture, language, memory and co-operation.”

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The petitioner had also contended that forests are socially and environmentally inter-linked with the people in the hilly areas and play important role in the economic welfare and development of the region.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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