Madras High Court declares Mother Nature as a ‘Living Being’ 


Madras High Court- It has been decided by the Madras High Court to invoke the “parens patriae jurisdiction” and proclaim Mother Nature to be a Living Being, with all the rights, obligations, and liabilities that accompany being a living being, in order to maintain and conserve them. 

The Madurai bench of the High Court, while dealing with a petition from a former Tahsildar-level official who sought to quash disciplinary proceedings against him for allegedly granting patta (land deed) for government land classified as “Forest Poramboke Land” to certain individuals, placed great emphasis on the importance of nature conservation. 

In response to a plea filed by A Periyakarupan of Theni, who had been ordered to take mandatory retirement, the court said that indiscriminate destruction of environment would result in various complexities in the eco system and imperil the life of flora and fauna species. 

A previous ruling by the Uttarakhand High Court, in which it invoked “parens patriae jurisdiction” (parent of the nation jurisdiction), declared the glaciers and rivers, including the Gangotri and Yamunotri rivers, to be legal entities for the purpose of preserving and conserving them, was cited by Justice S Srimathy as precedent. 

She said that previous generations have passed us Mother Earth in all of her pure splendor, and that we have a moral obligation to do the same for the next generation as they have done for us. 

“It is past time to declare/assign legal standing to “Mother Nature,” as the saying goes. Because of the “parens patriae jurisdiction” of this Court, the “Mother Nature” is hereby declared to be a “Living Being” with the legal entity/legal person/juristic person/juridical person/moral person/artificial person having the status of a legal person, with all of the corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a living person, in order to preserve and conserve them.” 

The rights of survival, safety, nourishment, and revival are also provided to them in order to retain their standing as well as to enhance their health and welfare, which are analogous to basic rights/legal rights/constitutional rights.

It is the responsibility of both the state and the federal governments to safeguard “Mother Nature” and take proper actions to defend Mother Nature in all feasible ways, according to The Madras High Court.

He requested that the disciplinary procedures be terminated and that the respondents provide him a full pension and death-cumulative retirement gratuity (DCRG) in arrears from the date of his retirement, plus 7.5 percent interest on the arrears.

He said that he had given patta for forest land on the instructions of his superiors, and that he had been suspended as a result of this.

As the court pointed out, the problem of deeds for forest areas was something that should be scrutinized at all levels since it threatened the very life of flora and animals as well as forests, waterbodies, mountains glaciers air and mankind. 

In addition to the Principal Revenue Secretary of Tamil Nadu, there were other replies. 

The court ruled that since the patta awarded in respect of the land in question in Meghamalai had been annulled and the requisite entries had been made in the village accounts, “the sentence should be mitigated,” according to the judge. 

This Court is thus of the considered conclusion that obligatory retirement should be amended as a six-month suspension of increase with no cumulative impact, and that the petitioner should be awarded compensatory damages as a result of this modification.” 

“This penalty has been inflicted as a result of the offence committed against mother nature. This penalty must be implemented by the respondents within four weeks of receiving a copy of the ruling, the court ordered. 

Edited by – Vanshikka Sahu

Published by -Mohd Faizan


Tharun Pranav
Tharun Pranav
Tharun Pranav is a Law student in the School of Law, Christ University. He is an Extrovert and a Pensive person in nature. One of his strengths is Sarcasm. He also has a passion for Space, Economics and Sports. You can find him online on Instagram or LinkedIn.


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