Coming a law to empower forest staff

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A proposed legislation accords significant powers to India’s forest officers — including the power issue search warrants, enter and investigate lands within their jurisdictions, and to provide indemnity to forest officers using arms to prevent forest-related offences.

  • Background:
    The reason accorded for bringing such amendments is to address contemporary challenges to India‘s forests and to have stronger laws so that forest cover can be increased from 24% to 33%.
  •  The draft has been sent to key forest officers in the States for soliciting comments and objections

Key Facts:

  • The Bill significant powers to India‘s forest officers — including the power issue search warrants, enter and investigate lands within their jurisdictions,
  • It will provide indemnity to forest officers using arms to prevent forest-related offences.
  • The proposal also wants to have greater participation of traditional forest dwellers to jointly manage forests with officers.
  • The legislation also proposes a forest development cess of up to 10% of the assessed value of mining products removed from forests, and water used for irrigation or in industries

Indian Forest Act, 2019:

  • The Indian Forest Act, 2019 is envisaged as an amendment to the Indian Forest Act, 1927.
  • It is an attempt to address contemporary challenges to India’s forests.
  • It proposed to provide indemnity to Forest-officer using arms etc, to prevent the forest offence.
  • Forest-officer not below the rank of a Ranger shall have power to hold an inquiry into forest offences and shall have the powers to search or issue a search warrant under the CrPC, 1973.
  • Any Forest-officer not below the rank of a Forester may, at any time enter and inspect any land within his area of jurisdiction.

Source:The Hindu

 

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