Forest Rights) Act, 2006 and Rules, 2008 and Amendment Rules, 2012
“Scheduled Tribes Forest Dwellers” and “Other Traditional Forest Dwellers” are eligible under this Act
Scheduled Tribes Forest Dwellers are primarily those forest dwellers who are members of scheduled tribes or community, and it includes the nomadic tribal community, which is dependent on forests and forest lands for their basic livelihood needs.
Other traditional forest dweller is the one whose last three generations (generation is a time period of 25 years) since 13 December 2005 has been staying in the forests and any member or community who has been dependent on forests and forest lands for their basic livelihood needs.
Gram Sabha means a village committee formed by all the adult members of the village and Pada, Tole and other traditionally-approved village organizations in case of States where Panchayats do not exist, and those elected village committees with complete and unconditional participation of women.
To initiate the process of determining the nature and scope of forest rights and to procure claims related to it and to hear them.
To create a list of forest rights solicitors/ claimants
To approve the decision about the forest right demands after giving reasonable opportunity to the mutually-interested people and relevant authorities, and sending the decision approval to the Sub-division Level Committee.
To consider the rehabilitation packages under the Para (डः G) of the Sub-section (2) of Section 4 of the Act, and to approve the appropriate decision.
a. Forest Rights Committee shall visit the place and shall verify the nature, scope and evidence of the claim at the location itself, and
b. The Forest Rights Committee shall accept any other evidence or record presented by the solicitor and witness.
c. In case of migrating tribals and nomadic tribes, rights shall be demanded either through individual members, community or through traditional community organizations, and when such an individual, group or representative is present, the Forest Rights Committee shall ensure that the verification is being carried out.
d. In cases where the members of the primitive tribal groups or pre-agricultural groups have demanded for determination of their right of residence through their community or through the traditional community organizations, the Forest Rights Committee shall ensure that the verification is being carried out when such groups or their representatives are present.
e. The Forest Rights Committee shall create an area demarcation map for each claim by using identifiable demarcation symbols.
After this, the Forest Rights Committee shall record its conclusions about the claim and present it in front of the Gram Sabha for their consideration.
If there are conflicting demands/claims about traditional or customary borders from another village or if the forest area is being used by more than one Gram Sabhas then Forest Rights Committees of the respective Gram Sabhas shall conduct a joint meeting to think over the nature of use in case of such claims, and shall present the conclusions/results of the same in writing to the respective Gram Sabhas.
However, if the Gram Sabha is not satisfied with the decision taken about the conflicting demand claim then they shall be directed to the Sub-division Level Committee.
a. Government records, reports of committees or commissions prepared by the government, government orders, notifications, circulars, resolutions such as public documents, gazettes, census, survey and reconciliation report, maps, satellite images, work plan, management plan, micro plan, forest enquiry report, other forest reports, rights related record identified in the name of the rent or lease or any of these.
b. Documents authorized by the government such as voter id, ration card, passport, property tax receipts, domicile certificates
c. Permanent development done to the house, ground leveling, building a dam, check-dam or such physical features
d. Judicial and legal records including court orders and justice decisions.
e. Research study or citation about exhibiting use of any forest rights, and customs and traditions having support of customary laws, by a renowned institute, such as Anthropological Survey of India
f. Any record received from a former Provincial State or Province or such other intermediary organization including maps, record of rights, special privileges, allowances, grants.
g. Traditional structures such as wells, cemetery, holy places that prove to be of ancient times.
h. Genealogy that traces the ancestors of individuals mentioned in the previous land records or the one that identifies that the individual was a legal resident of that village in the earlier times.
i. Written statement from an elder person other than the claimant.
a. Community rights such as Nistar – then it may have been refereed to by any name,
b. Traditional grazing grounds, roots and tubers, fodder, wild food flowers and other insignificant forest products, fishing areas, irrigation facilities, water resources for use by humans or animals, territories of professionals gathering medicinal plants.
c. Remains of a structure built by local groups, holy trees, Devrai, ponds or river beds, cemetery or crematory.
A forest rights holder should protect wild life, forest and biodiversity.
A forest rights holder should ensure that neighboring watershed areas, water bodies and other susceptible areas as per circumstances are protected adequately.
A forest rights holder should ensure that houses of forest dwelling scheduled tribes and other traditional forest dwellers are secured, and should ensure that their cultural and natural heritage has not been disturbed because of any kind of malicious practices.
The individual distressed because of the decision taken by the Gram Sabha can file a request with the Sub-division Level Committee formed as per the Sub-clause (3). The Sub-division Level Committee shall consider the request and take a decision about it.
But every such request should be filed within sixty days from the date the decision was approved by the Gram Sabha.
An individual distressed because of the decision taken by the Sub-division Level Committee should file a request application with the District Level Committee within sixty days from the date the decision was taken by the Sub-division Level Committee.
However, no request application against the Gram Sabha decision can be filed directly with the District Level Committee unless the request has been filed with the Sub-division Level Committee and unless that Committee has taken it into consideration.
The Gram Sabha called for rights related claims needs to have an attendance of 2/3rd members. Gram Sevak shall be the secretary of this Gram Sabha. In such a first Gram Sabha, a resolution needs to be passed electing ten to fifteen people for the committee and from among those members, a Chairman and a Secretary needs to be elected and a list along with their names needs to be approved in the resolution. This resolution needs to be sent to the Sub-divisional Officer. This committee shall be recognized as the ‘Village Forest Rights Committee’. This committee should have at least 1/3rd number of members from scheduled tribes and at least 1/3rd number of members should be women.
There is a list of 13 rights under the Act; however, the basic rights are as follows.
Right to land held or under cultivation
Right over minor forest produce.
Right to use land, right to grazing, fishing etc.
Rights of settlement
Right for residency [only applicable to pre-agricultural groups and primitive tribal groups].
A separate Village Forest Rights Committee should be formed by the villagers for each revenue village of the Gram Panchayat group.
Gram Sabha should elect one or two 10th or 12th pass people to the Forest Rights Committee.
If there is a record in regards to caste in the admission form of a student from the family then let it be considered acceptable for this Act.
Let the record in regards to caste in the admission form of a relative be considered acceptable for this Act.
If there is any doubt in regards to the caste then in such a case, the Forest Rights Committee shall order the respective beneficiary to take the caste certificate from the Sub-division Level Officer (Authorized Officer) and submit it along with the application.
Yes. This Act is going to be made applicable to forest areas prescribed under the Government.
These cases can be handled under the Clause 3(1) (J छ) of the Act.
If the actual livelihood needs of the claimant are dependent on the forest or forest land in possession of the claimant then only can he /she be an eligible claimant under this Act. In this regard, refer to Clause no.2 (K) of Act 2008
Electing the member secretary of the Forest Rights Committee from among the members of the Committee has to be done by the Forest Rights Committee itself.
Under the said Clause, it is expected from all the above-mentioned that they should protect wildlife, forests and biodiversity, natural resources, cultural heritage etc. Also, as per Clause 4(E) of the Act, the Gram Sabha has to form committees for the same
Forest Rights Committee.
No. As per the Act, rehabilitated people cannot be given rights to their previous lands.
Regarding the same, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Maharashtra State has proposed designation of the relevant officers and has requested for an order from the Government. Government order for the same is awaited.
Taking reference of interpretations given in Clause 2(J छ) and Clause 2(T) of the Act, Forest Rights Committee can be constituted, if necessary, as a special case; taking into account the welfare of the people of such Padas.
In order to get rights over the forest land, in accordance with getting possession of the said land, it is necessary that the said forest land is in possession of the claimant before date 13.12.2005 and also on date 31.12.2007.
Yes. It is of utmost importance that the Gram Sabha determines the community forest resources in possession of the village because in some places, they may be overlapping usage with the community forest resource areas of other villages too. It is necessary for the Gram Sabha to communicate the neighbouring Gram Sabhas about the said overlapping forest resources and take decision about it. If in any specific case, the mutual usage is on a big scale then the Sub-division Level Committee may be communicated about the same.
No. It is necessary for them to file an appeal with the Sub-division Level Committee.
The claimant should be a resident for the past 3 generations (75 years), but the condition of 3 generations is not necessary for possession of forest land. The condition of being before the date 31/12/2005 is applicable.
It is necessary for the Forest Rights Committee to scrutinize each case and then submit it with the Gram Sabha. At the same time, it is necessary to conduct a free discussion over every case in the Gram Sabha in the presence of 2/3rd quorum, so that false cases can be denied at the Gram Sabha level with their approval itself
If the claimant is eligible as per the provisions of the Forest Rights Act and if his livelihood is dependent on the pond/lake then as per Clause 3(1) (G) forests rights can be acquired.
Forest rights cannot be given to the claimant unless he fulfils the conditions of eligibility.
No. You do not have to pay any fees to get land measured from Government. If the land measurers demand for any fees then bring this to the notice of the respective divisional officer and the District Collector immediately.
No. The said Act is not for the approval of forest rights. New rights cannot be given under this Act.
Funds have been made available with the District Collector, as per their demand, for the implementation of the Forest Rights Act. Contact them in this regards
In order to get forest rights, it is necessary for the claimant to be in possession of that land on date 13/12/2005 and date 31/12/2007. In this case, the Adivasi cannot be given forest rights. Also, forest rights cannot be given to non-Adivasi person if he is not staying in the forests since their 3 generations or if he is not dependent on that land for his actual livelihood needs.
No. It cannot include any person other than Adivasis in this.
Declaration of forest rights is for the benefit of all. It is important to promote this. Give priority to community rights in the village and get all involved in it, and in the same Gram Sabha, let individual forest rights cases be registered.