SC continues its stay on eviction of forest dwellers

The Supreme Court on Thursday continued its stay on the eviction of lakhs of Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers whose claims for forest land rights have been rejected under the Forest Rights Act (FRA) of 2006.

A Bench led by Justice Arun Mishra posted the case for hearing on November 26 and said the stay order first issued on February 28 would continue.

‘No mercy’

The Bench referred to how resorts and illegal structures have encroached on forest lands and led to the depletion of the green cover. Senior advocate Sanjay Parikh, appearing for one of the parties, said the focus should be on the lakhs of forest dwellers who face eviction.

The court said “the mighty and the undeserving” who had encroached on forest lands would be shown no mercy.

More than 11 lakh people from the STs and OTFDs across 16 States had faced the brunt of the Supreme court’s February 13 eviction order..

Centre’s stand

The February 13 eviction order was stayed on February 28 after the Centre moved the Supreme court to modify the former order.

The government had said the eviction order would affect a “large number of families”.

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