The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a PIL on 24 June seeking steps to prevent wildfires in Uttarakhand. The PIL sought urgent steps to protect forests, wildlife, and birds from wildfires in Uttarakhand. A vacation bench of Justices Deepak Gupta and Surya Kant listed the matter for hearing on Monday while Justice Deepak Gupta orally remarked one can only pray for rain now.

The PIL was filed by Advocate Rituparn Uniyal after some media reports highlighted that as many as 1451 incidents of forest fires were reported in Uttarakhand last year while 1493 wildfires have been reported in April and May. These reports also pointed out that Uttarakhand has lost 44,000 hectares of forest covers to fire since 2000.

The Petition seeks directions to the Central and state government and the principal chief conservator of forests in the state to make pre-fire arrangement and frame a policy to check forest fires. The Plea also seeks an investigation of the issue by an independent agency.

In order to protect and promote greater welfare of animals including avian and aquatic, animals, it seeks directions to confer the animal kingdom with the status of a legal entity with rights of a living person.

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