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.
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
- 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.