NEW DELHI: Forest rights claims continue to be frivolously dismissed by authorities, a draft report by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) has revealed.The report is the outcome of a study conducted in Gujarat’s Dand wand Meghraj regions.
There were a significant number of rejections of claims because someone in the applicant’s family had a government jobs, shows the draft report. However, under the Forest Rights Act, there is no provision for disqualifying persons whose family income is derived from a range of sources.
The other issues identified by the CSJ were rejections on account of not producing recent photographs of cultivation, inordinate delays and pendency, failures in recording rights acquired into revenue records, service of eviction notices from land on which claims were rejected.
The Centre for Social Justice report also has pointed out women are discouraged to file claims and even if they do, there are conflicts over which party has claim to legitimacy.Widows also lose out on claims as they cannot claim rights over the forest land that they jointly held with their husbands as other relatives lay claim to the stake, it said.Procedural lapses while implementing provisions of the forest rights act remain another significant reason.