A. Periyakaruppan V. The Principal Secretary to Government
COURT: Madras High Court
CORAM: Justice S. Srimathy
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 19 April 2022
The petitioner, Tahsildar, had spent 35 years working for the Revenue Department. In 2006, he reached superannuation but was prevented from retiring due to ongoing disciplinary actions and later was suspended. The petitioner contended that he was merely following orders from his superiors, who went unpunished. However, the respondent argued that the petitioner illegally granted pattas to classified “Forest Poramboke Land.”
Whether the petitioner can depend on the reliefs granted to the the co-delinquent ?
The Court stated that because the facts in each case are different and there is some difference in each case, the petitioner cannot depend on the reliefs given to the other officials involved in the patta procedures.
Invoking the doctrine of “parens patriae jurisdiction,” the Court in its landmark judgment, declared “Mother Nature” to be a living being having the status of a legal entity and conferred corresponding rights, liabilities, and duties.
The Court said that Mother Nature needs to be safeguarded and preserved and laid down that “Indiscriminate destruction or change is leading to several complications in the ecosystem, ultimately is endangering the very existence of the animals, flora and fauna, forests, rivers, lakes, water bodies, mountains, glaciers, air and of course human. Strangely the destruction is carried on by few humans.”