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The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 modified by Maharashtra Gov. 

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Maharashtra Governor modifies law on forest rightsThe notification issued on May 18, 2020, stated that the Governor of Maharashtra Bhagat Singh Koshyari has made certain modifications in Section 6 of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, (also called as Forest Rights Act-FRA) in its application to the Scheduled Areas of the State of Maharashtra, by exercising the powers conferred upon him by Schedule V of the Constitution. 

  • Purpose of modifications- Modification is to provide justice to the tribals whose Individual Forest rights or Community Forest rights have been rejected by the District Level Committee(DLC) constituted under FRA.
  • As per the modification a provision has been incorporated to enable rightful claimants of the forest rights to appeal against the Order of the DLC.

Major Highlights of the notification

i.The notification applies in the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (PESA) areas in the State of Maharashtra and allows appeal provision against the decisions of the DLC 

ii.It states that the DLC under the chairmanship of Divisional Commissioners has been constituted to hear the appeals against the decision of the DLC

iii.Cases if order passed by DLC  before & after the commencement of the notification

  • Before– The application for appeal shall be made within 6 months from the date of issue of notification.
  • After– The application of appeal shall be made within a period of ninety days from the date of communication of order of the District Level Committee.

Background

i.A large number of applications under the act relating to record of rights are rejected by the DLC under the  Act. However, there was no provision in the Act for appeal against the decision of DLC. To benefit thousands of tribals, this notification was issued.

Key Points

i.Data- A 2,54,042 claims have been filed by Scheduled Tribes(ST) & 1,05,681 claims by other tribal forest dwellers. Of these, 13,712 claims of STs and 8,797 claims of Other Traditional Forest Dwellers have been rejected

ii.As per the data revealed by the tribal ministry a total of 18,89,835 titles have been granted & 72,23,132 hectares(72,000 sqkm) of public forest land has been granted & converted to individual and community ownership across the country.

About Maharashtra:
Capital– Mumbai
Chief Minister– Uddhav Thackeray
National Parks(NP)– Tadoba NP, Gugamal NP, Navegaon NP & Sanjay Gandhi NP.