Nainital : In a landmark judgement, the Uttarakhand High Court on Monday accorded the status of "living human entities" to the Ganga and Yamuna, two of India's most sacred rivers.
Exercising extraordinary jurisdiction vested in the court, a division bench of Justices Rajeev Sharma and Alok Singh said, "The holy rivers Ganga and Yamuna have been declared to be treated as living human entities."
Agreeing with advocate M C Pant, the court cited the example of river Whanganui in New Zealand, which has been given such a status.
Giving the "legal status" of living humans to the holy rivers, the court ordered that the director, Namami Gange project, for cleaning and rejuvenating the river, the chief secretary and the advocate general of Uttarakhand will act as the "legal parents" of the holy rivers and work as the human face to protect, conserve and preserve them and their tributaries.
Meanwhile, on a PIL filed by Haridwar resident Mohammad Salim, the court ordered the Dehradun district magistrate to remove encroachment from the Shakti canal of the Ganga at Dhakrani within 72 hours. It ordered that the district magistrate be suspended if he failed to comply with the directive.