On February 23, Dr. Anindita Pujari gave a lecture titled: Locating Riverine Personality Judgement in Indian Law at a Riverine Rights digital seminar. Dr. Anindita Pujari is an advocate of the Supreme Court of India and holds a PhD from the Jawaharlal Nehru University. She has been involved in a number of supreme court landmark cases involving among other things constitutional issues, the relationship between the judiciary and the executive, gender issues and interstate water conflicts. She is currently the General Secretary of the Bar Association of India, and has, among other things written about the history of Indian lawyers’ associations.
Dr. Pujari gave an overview of the Indian legal and judicial system and located “water” and its governance in Indian law. She further gave a detailed presentation of the legal process and the series of decisions that culminated in High Court of Uttarakhand granting legal personhood to the Ganga and Yamuna rivers on March 20 2017, and to the glaciers feeding the river a few days later.
She went on to explain the current challenges before the federal Supreme Court and went into detail on various dimensions of the legal conundrum that arise in granting legal/ juristic personality to Rivers. In a round of questions and comments after the lecture, the Riverine Rights team were unanimous in praising the presentation as a valuable and in-depth examination of the case that greatly expands the internationally available academic and legal literature on the case.