• Illegal felling of trees in revenue land

Presently working as forest ranger. 
My question is that a large number of trees are being cut in revenue land in the name of development of grazing land. 
So how can i book the case in forest conservation act, 1980. as no proper definition of forest is given. 
whether Forest conservation act is applicable on revenue land, as the workers are clearly felling the area for development of grazing land.
Whether they have to take approval from the central govt for diversion of forest land to non forest purposes.
kindly clarify so as to book the case in the court
Whether Forest ranger is eligible for booking cases under forest conservation act as no clear direction given in the act.
Asked 3 years ago in Criminal Law from andaman nicobar, Puducherry
1. Nobody even if those are govt. employed can break the law.
2. The forest can come under Revenue land as well.
3.Any individual including a govt. servant can lodge a complaint with Police. So you are fit enough to lodge complaint for commission of offence it is so happens.
Devajyoti Barman
Advocate, Kolkata
12487 Answers
159 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1) The land being revenue land does not come under the preview of forest land and hence the Conservation of Forest act 1980 is not applicable on the instant case.
2) Although you may not be able to register a case under the Forest Act, what you can do is to find out if MGNREGA  has approvals from the concerned governmental authorities in felling the trees for converting it into grazing land. You may take recourse to RTI in this regard.
3) As you indicated the approval of Central Government would be required in conversion of forest land for non forest purposes. If the land in question is demarcated as revenue land the the above approval becomes irrelevant.
4)I would therefore recommend that you proceed further after gathering more information about the current MGNREGA project so that it can be determined if as a Forest Ranger you can initiate a case under circumstances.
S J Mathew
Advocate, Mumbai
2229 Answers
110 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

The illegal felling of the trees is not permissible until and unless a permission for clearing the land is given by the government authorities having control over the said land. As regards the MGNREGA workers, you need to ask the manager of those workers if any permission has been sought for cutting the trees under their program. Revenue land technically does not fall under forest Act however this could be reported to the Revenue Officer. 

To bring an offence before the court, you just need to be a person who is affected by the misdoing. You can approach the police and get a case registered against the illegal cutting of trees.
Shaveta Chaudhary (Sanghi)
Advocate, Chandigarh
843 Answers
63 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. You yourself stated that the area falls under revenue land & it does not fall under forest land,

2. Ask those people from whom they have obtained approval for felling trees,

3. If there has been no such approval obtained, enquire about such felling through the concerned department.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
18079 Answers
438 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. This land being revenue in nature does not come within the ambit of Forest Conservation Act.

2. Notwithstanding the fact that the officials who are axing the trees cannot be prosecuted under the Forest Conservation Act, the felling of trees cannot be done until and unless the permission from the competent authority is sought. 

3 You should file a RTI to ascertain whether the sanction of the central govt has been sough before felling the trees. If trees are being cut without the necessary sanction it is illegal.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
22958 Answers
631 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

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