Supreme Court to hear fresh plea tomorrow not to evict forest dwellers, set up special investigation team

New Delhi: The Supreme Court will hear on Monday a fresh plea seeking a direction to authorities not to evict any forest dwellers and to set up an SIT to look into alleged illegal acquisition of tribals' land. A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna had on 5 March taken cognisance of the plea filed by Chhattisgarh-based Tarika Tarangini Larka, seeking a direction to the Centre not to allot possession of any forest land belonging to tribals to anyone other than 'adivasi' residing in that particular area.

 Supreme Court to hear fresh plea tomorrow not to evict forest dwellers, set up special investigation team

File image of the Supreme Court of India. PTI

The apex court, while dealing with other similar pending petition, had on 28 February stayed its 13 February order directing 21 states to evict 11.8 lakh illegal forest dwellers whose claims over the forest land have been rejected by authorities. In the fresh petition, filed through lawyer ML Sharma, Larka has alleged that authorities in Tamnar of Raigarh district of Chhattisgarh have forcibly grabbed a large area of tribal land and handed it to outsiders and now are trying to oust 'adivasi' from the area.

"For this, they adopted simple strategy declaring forest dweller as non-adivasi to grab their land in the forest and village by rejecting their claim upon land," the plea has said. It has sought restoration of land acquired by the government from tribals in Chhattisgarh for mining and other purposes and to provide them value of mined minerals. The petition has also sought setting up of a special investigation team (SIT) comprising retired judges of the apex court to look into the alleged illegal acquisition of land belonging to tribals throughout the country.

Besides, it has sought a direction to the CBI to register an FIR under the provisions of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Act to investigate the matters brought to light by the SIT and to file their report before the apex court.

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Updated Date: Mar 24, 2019 13:47:16 IST