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Above: Forest officials dousing fire in a forest (representative image)

The Supreme Court on Monday sought additional documents from a petitioner in support of his PIL which had sought immediate efforts to safeguard the forest, wildlife and birds in the wake of the forest fires in Uttarakhand.

A vacation bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and BR Gavai was acting on a plea filed by advocate Rituparn Uniyal seeking directions to Central and state government to evolve a mechanism to prevent wildfires in Uttarakhand.

The petitioner had approached the apex court relying on the media reports which cited that during the last year 1451 incidents of forest fires happened while this year in the months of April and May 1493 incidents of forest fires happened.

The plea has further sought the direction to pronounce the animal kingdom as “legal entities having a diverse character with equivalent rights, duties and liabilities of a living person.”

The issue of forest fires should be probed by an independent agency, the petitioner said in the plea.

—India Legal Bureau  

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