Wed, 17 Jul 2019

New Delhi [India], June 18 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a petition seeking urgent steps to protect forests, wildlife and birds from wildfires in Uttarakhand, on June 24.

Calling it a serious issue, a Bench of Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Surya Kant agreed to hear the plea and said: "In the meantime, pray for rain."The petition filed by advocate Rituparn Uniyal, a native of Tehri Garhwal in Uttarakhand, mentioned the matter before the Bench for an urgent hearing.

The petition sought a direction that the entire wildlife in the region be declared a living entity and the government be directed to take steps to prevent wildfires.

The lawyer approached the apex court after media reports highlighted some that as many as 1451 incidents of forest fires were reported in Uttarakhand last year and this year, in the months of April and May 1493 incidents of forest fires have been reported.

Uniyal said forest blazes have increased over the years and cause huge loss to the environment.

The petition sought directions to the Centre, the Uttarakhand government and the principal chief conservator of forests in the state to make pre-fire arrangements and frame a policy to prevent forest fires.

The advocate further sought an investigation into the issue by an independent agency and directions to declare the animal kingdom as legal entities having a distinct persona with corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a living person. (ANI)

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