Don’t evict forest dwellers without due procedure: Telangana High Court
HYDERABAD: In a relief to tribals who are in occupation of forest lands, the Telangana High Court directed the State government not to evict the forest dwellers without following the procedure laid down under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forests Rights) Act, 2006.
The court directed the authorities concerned to issue notice to the petitioners in accordance with law and take necessary steps to evict them or any other persons, who are in occupation of the forest land, duly following the procedure prescribed.
Justice Challa Kodanda Ram passed the order in petitions filed separately by D Sanjiva Rao and 22 others from Madagudem in Mahabubabad district, S Chinnadeva and 33 others from Kistaram in Khammam, J Sammakka and 38 others from Lingagudem in Bhadradri Kothagudem, K Satish and 28 others from KW Chowdavaram of Khammam, K Ashok and 15 others from Venkatapuram of Mahabubabad and S Mangamma and 27 others from Vajjavarigudem in Bhadradri Kothagudem, challenging the decision of the authorities concerned for resorting to forcible evictions contrary to the procedure laid down in Forest Dwellers Act.
While disposing of the cases, the judge made it clear to the authorities concerned not to evict the petitioners without following the procedure established under the Act. The authorities should follow the due procedure on the issue, including the task of determining whether the petitioners are residing in the forest land prior to the cut off date.