HC asks authorities to consider plea of forest dwellers in Theni district

Taking note of the plea of 33 forest dwellers from Theni district, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has directed the authorities including Theni Collector to consider their representations seeking to use the land which now comes under the forest area.

Justice J. Nisha Banu directed the authorities to consider their representations in 12 weeks. The court was hearing the petition filed by 33 forest dwellers from Andipatti in Theni district. They said that they and their families have been residing in the area for over 80 years.

The petitioners said that they were cultivating cotton, coconut, cashew and lime. They were paying tax and all of them had ration cards and voter identity cards. They had access to government school, ration shop and panchayat office in the area, they said.

In 1988, the land came under forest area. Following this, the petitioners said that they have made representations to authorities seeking recognition of their fundamental and statutory right to use the land.

They said that they have also made representations seeking recognition of their right under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006. The Theni Collector convened a meeting with the authorities and the petitioners.

Certain resolutions were passed in the meeting regarding recognition of the lands used by the petitioners. The petitioners said that the rights have to be recognised at the earliest and resolutions have to be implemented as the forest officials were constantly questioning them.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 10:45:12 AM |

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