Ganges as living entity: Supreme Court on Friday stayed an order issued by the Uttarakhand High Court declaring river Ganga and Yamuna as living entities, ANI reported. The ruling puts a stay on Uttarakhand High Court’s March decision which had recognised Ganga as the ‘first living entity of India’. Along with the Ganges, river Yamuna too was declared a living entity. The judgement, which referred to Ganga, as “Ganga Maa” and deliberated on the nature of God, declared Ganga and Yamuna rivers as “juristic/legal persons/living entities having the status of a legal person”. The judgment came during the hearing of a PIL related to the division of properties between Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The high court, while delivering its order, stated that “a Hindu idol is a juristic entity capable of holding property and of being taxed” through those “who are entrusted with the possession and management of its property”. “Rivers Ganges and Yamuna are worshipped by Hindus,” the court said, underlining that “according to Hindu beliefs, a dip in River Ganga can wash away all the sins”.
“The Ganga is also called ‘Ganga Maa’,” it added. The court further noted that “there is utmost expediency to give legal status as a living person/legal entity to Rivers Ganga and Yamuna r/w Articles 48-A and 51A(g) of the Constitution of India.” It further ruled: “the Rivers Ganga and Yamuna, all their tributaries, streams, every natural water flowing with flow continuously or intermittently of these rivers, are declared as juristic/legal persons /living entities having the status of a legal person with all corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a living person in order to preserve and conserve river Ganga and Yamuna”