Ganges river granted legal rights

DO NOT USE - no rights.

by Rina Chandran | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Tuesday, 21 March 2017

An Indian court has declared the sacred Ganges and Yamuna rivers living entities, giving them the same legal rights as human beings.

The high court in India’s northern Uttarakhand state on Monday said the Ganges and its longest tributary, the Yamuna – both held sacred by millions of Hindus – have the right to be legally protected and not be harmed, and can be parties to disputes.

The court ordered that the two rivers be represented by the chief of the National Mission for Clean Ganga – a government body overseeing projects and conservation of the Ganges – as well as the state’s chief secretary and advocate general.

“This will help protect the rivers, as they now have all the constitutional and statutory rights of human beings, including the right to life,” said M.C. Pant, a lawyer for the public interest litigation against the state for inaction in clearing encroachments on the banks of the Yamuna.

Analysts fear, however, that the move will do little to protect the rivers or keep them clean.

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