Allahabad HC recognises forest rights, no action against claimants

Written by CJP | Published on: October 18, 2018

Swaraj Abhiyan Committee found out that 90 per cent of the claim applications under forest rights filed by the Adivasis in this tribal belt were rejected without any notice or hearing. In many villages, the claims were not even accepted. At the same time, the forest department was evicting the claimants from the forest land


Allahabad HC
 
Sonebhadra: The Allahabad High Court on Oct 11 passed an order in favour of claimants all over the country and in favour of forest rights defenders.
 
“It is open to the members of the petitioners' association to make individual application under Section 6 of the Act for seeking recognition of their forest rights, within a period of six weeks from today. If such applications are made, the Gram Sabha/authority shall consider the same and take a decision as expeditiously as possible and preferably within a period of 12 weeks therefrom,” the court order said.


 
They ordered that in these 18 weeks no claimant will be harassed. According to the High Courts Order, the Gram Sabha or authority under the provisions of the Act has to consider and decide their applications within 12 weeks.
 
This order has been passed by Justice Dilip B. Bhosale and Yashwant Varma on the PIL filed by the Adivasi Vanvasi Maha Sabha.



 
The member of state Swaraj Abhiyan Committee Mr. Dinkar Kapoor said that last year in a field visit by a team, they found out that 90 per cent of the claim applications under forest rights filed by the Adivasis in this tribal belt were rejected without giving any notice or hearing. In many villages, the claims were not even accepted. At the same time, the forest department was evicting the claimants from the forest land. After this field trip, the Adivasi Vanvasi Mahasabha drafted a fact-finding report and a PIL was filed in the high court based on it. On the first hearing of this petition, the High Court had put a stay (banned) on the harassment and eviction of the claimants by the authorities.
 
The High Court has ordered to restart the process of Forest Rights Act/law.
 
This article is related to the following court order (attached):
 
Chief Justice's Court Case:-
 
PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION (PIL) No. - 56003 of 2017
 
Petitioner :-
Adivasi Vanvasi Maha Sabha, Chandauli
 
Respondent:-
Union Of India And 16 Others
 
Counsel for Petitioner:-
Yogesh Agarwal
 
Counsel for Respondent:-
C.S.C., A.S.G.I.
Hon'ble Dilip B. Bhosale, Chief Justice
Hon'ble Yashwant Varma, J.
 
Heard Mr. Yogesh Agarwal, learned counsel for the petitioners and Mr. Pradeep Kumar Tripathi, learned  Standing Counsel for respondents-State.
 
Counsel for the petitioners submits that the members of the petitioners' association (Adivasi Vanvasi Maha Sabha) will apply for recognition of their rights under Section 6 of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, within a period of six weeks from today and he seeks a direction to the Gram Sabha/authority under the provisions of the Act to consider and decide their applications within time frame.
 
Counsel for respondents-State has no objection for passing such an order. Hence, we dispose of this writ petition by the following order.
 
It is open to the members of the petitioners' association to make individual application under Section 6 of the Act for seeking recognition of their forest rights, within a period
of six weeks from today. If such applications are made, the Gram Sabha/authority shall consider the same and take a decision as expeditiously as possible and preferably within
a period of 12 weeks therefrom. For a period of 18 weeks, interim order granted by this Court on 24.11.2017, shall remain operative. All contentions on merits are kept open.
 
Order Date :-
11.10.2018
RK
(Yashwant Varma, J)
(Dilip B Bhosale, CJ)