Observing that large numbers of claims for land titles filed under the Forest Rights Act (FRA) are rejected by district level committees (DLCs) – the final tier in a three-tier claims assessment process that allows no provision for appeal against its decision – Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has issued a notification making modifications in the law.
The modification incorporates a provision enabling rightful claimants of forest rights to appeal against the order of DLCs.
Koshyari issued the notification on May 18 in exercise of the powers conferred on him by Schedule V of the Constitution, thereby modifying Section 6 of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, also known as the Forest Rights Act, in its application to scheduled areas in Maharashtra.
The notification stated that DLCs under the chair of divisional commissioners have been formed to hear appeals against the decision of DLCs.
It added that in case of orders already passed before this notification, an appeal must be made within six months. In case of orders passed henceforth, appeals must be made within 90 days from the order.