Madras High Court grants living being status to ‘Mother Nature’
Madras, IndiaMay 2022
The Madras High Court in a recent order declared “Mother Nature” a Living Being with all corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a living person. The Madurai bench of the HC invoked the parens patriae jurisdiction and placed immense importance on conserving nature, while dealing with a petition from a former Tahsildar-level official.
Justice S Srimathy cited a 2017 judgment of the Uttarakhand High Court in which it had invoked parens patriae jurisdiction (parent of the nation jurisdiction) and declared the glaciers including Gangotri and Yamunotri rivers as living entities to preserve and conserve them. She said the past generations have handed over Mother Earth in its pristine glory and that we are morally bound to hand over the same to the next generation.
The order also accorded Mother Nature the rights similar to “fundamental rights/ legal rights / constitutional rights for their survival, safety, sustenance and resurgence in order to maintain its status and also to promote their health and wellbeing”.
The court directed the state and Central governments to take appropriate steps to protect Mother Nature in all possible ways. The court noted that misuse of forest lands posed a threat on a macro scale. Nature, in this case, included water bodies, flora and fauna, forests, mountains, glaciers, and air.
More information here.