Daily Current Affairs – 2020Topic: For Prelims and Mains
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has recently declared Sukhna lake (Chandigarh) as a living entity recently.
What is legal entity?
A legal entity means entity which acts like a natural person but only through a designated person, whose acts are processed within the ambit of law.
An area of 2 km to 2.75 km around the lake has been declared as an eco-sensitive zone by the Chandigarh Administration.
All activities in this area fall under provisions of the Environment Protection Act.
The court has completely banned new construction in the catchment areas falling in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Union Territory Chandigarh as well as in the Sukhna Wetland and Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary.
Earlier, Uttarakhand High Court declared the rivers Yamuna and Ganga as legal or juridical persons, enjoying all the rights, duties and liabilities of a living person.
The HC bench was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition filed in 2014 and gave a landmark judgment stating that the Ganga and the Yamuna must be treated as living entities.
About the Environment Protection Act, 1986:
§ It empowers the government of India to lay down standards for emission or discharge of environmental pollutants from various sources whatsoever, provided that different standards for emission or discharge may be laid down under this clause from different sources having regard to the quality or composition of the emission or discharge of environmental pollutants from such sources.
What is Parens patriae?
It is Latin for “parent of the nation“. In law, it refers to the public policy power of the state to intervene against an abusive or negligent parent, legal guardian, or informal caretaker, and to act as the parent of any child or individual who is in need of protection.