HC:Sukhna lake of Chandigarh is legal entity

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News:The Punjab and Haryana High Court has declared Sukhna Lake legal entity and has ordered demolition of legal/unauthorised constructions in its catchment area.

Facts:

Key takeaways from the Judgement:

  • Sukhna Lake will now be a legal entity for its survival, preservation and conservation.
  • The court also declared all citizens of Chandigarh as loco parentis (in the place of a parent) to save the lake from extinction.
  • The court also invoked the Polluter pays principle by saying that the States should have taken precautionary measures to save the catchment of Sukhna lake.

About Sukhna Lake:

  • Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh is a reservoir at the foothills (Shivalik hills) of the Himalayas.
  • This lake was created in 1958 by Le Corbusier and the Chief Engineer P L Verma by damming the Sukhna Choe, a seasonal stream coming down from the Shivalik Hills.
  • The lake is a sanctuary for many exotic migratory birds like the Siberian duck, storks and cranes during the winter months.
  • The lake has been declared as a protected national wetland by the Government of India.

About Living Entity:

  • A legal entity means an entity which acts like a natural person but only through a designated person whose acts are processed within the ambit of law.

About Polluter Pays Principle:

  • The principle is enacted to make the party responsible for producing pollution responsible for paying for the damage done to the natural environment.
  • In international environmental law it is mentioned under the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development of 1992.