SC stays eviction of 11.8 lakh forest dwellers

The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed its February 13 order directing 21 states to evict nearly 11.8 lakh illegal forest dwellers whose claims were rejected by the authorities.
The apex court will now hear the case on July 10.
The top court on February 13 had directed for the eviction of thousands of Scheduled Tribes (STs) and other traditional forest dwellers whose claims for forest land rights have been rejected under the Forest Rights Act of 2006.
The Centre in its plea had said that as the forest dwellers were extremely poor and illiterate, it was difficult for them to substantiate their claims before the competent authorities.
A bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, directed the state governments apprise it of the details of the process adopted in rejecting the forest dwellers’ claim over the land.
“We stay the earlier February 13 order of the court,” it added.
The bench also asked the states that what is the procedure followed for determining the forest rights as well as whether the state-level monitoring committees actually monitored the process or not. (UNI)