Home

Index

PUCL, June 2003

Proforma for Claims for Regularization of Encroachments under FP(1)

To:
The Collector & District Magistrate,
District

Sub:- Request for Regularization of Encroachment on land in ______________ Forest Area of ___________ Village, ________Taluka, __________Dt.

Reference: Claims for Regularization of vide Guidelines of the Ministry of
Environment and Forests (GOI) No. 13-1/90-FP (1) dated 18/9/1990

Applicant: Shri. ___________ age about ___________years
resident of ___________ village in ___________ Taluka of
___________ District.


Sir,
I have heard reports that eviction notices are being issued to adivasis in the State of , ostensibly pursuant to a Supreme Court order. Given that, notwithstanding that I have a legal entitlement to the land as my encroachment on the said lands in the forest are prior to 1980.

I am told that the government of MP has previously conducted a survey of encroachments on forest lands, but even though I have encroached on forest lands prior to 1980 and my encroachment has been subsisting since that time and I am in possession of the land and cultivating the same, I was never intimated or informed to file my claims not did the Committee visit my village nor were any of the other encroachers called to adduce evidence in support of their claims. As I am allegedly encroaching on forest lands, I apprehend that you may at some future point attempt to evict me.

In these circumstances, I wish to make clear my claims on my lands in ______(S. No.) of , ___________Forest Area of _______________Village, of__________ Taluka, ____________ District.
I am an adivasi of the _____________ community. My family has _______ members. I and my family have been continuously in possession of and cultivating the abovementioned land for generations. The land that I cultivate is approximately _________ acres in size. We cultivate _____________________________ crops in the small cleared areas in the forests. This cultivation does not in any way harm or damage the forest cover and ecology. The crops that we grow are for our own consumption and not for commercial purposes.

The land which I am cultivating from generations was encroached by me/my father/ my from the year which is prior to 1980. In lieu of residing and cultivating the said lands, we were also paying fines to the Forest/Revenue Officals. We were/were not issued receipt of payments made. I am presently having/not having the said receipts. This fact is known to the Forest, Revenue, Tribal Welfare and other concerned departments.

Without prejudice to my contention that the Forest Department is not the owner of the lands as my claims stand regularized by the guidelines of the Government of India on 18/9/1990, I submit that any steps to evict me are in any case a violation of circular 13-1/90-FP(1) dtd 18.9.90 of the Ministry of Environment and Forests. In the light of the clear and unambiguous language of the circular, since I have been in possession of this land from prior to 1980 and the said encroachment has not been regularized or my claim has not been rejected, I cannot be summarily evicted. As per the same circular, my case and others similar to it should therefore be individually reviewed by a joint team with officers from the Revenue, Tribal Welfare and Forest Departments. These procedures have not been followed.
In such circumstances, I believe that, if all these procedures are followed, my stand will be vindicated. I therefore request you to refrain from evicting me, which would be an illegal and unjustified act, and instead regularize my possession of the said land.

Finally, I would also like to request a personal hearing and examination of my claim and an opportunity to produce all relevant evidence in support of my claim.

Yours truly,

Proforma for Disputed Claims under FP(2)

To:
The Collector & District Magistrate,
District

Sub:- Request for verification and registration of unsettled/disputed claims and traditional rights to reside and cultivate on lands in ______________ Forest Area of ___________ Village, ________Taluka, __________Dt.

Reference: Settlement of Disputed Claims vide Guidelines of the Ministry of
Environment and Forests (GOI) No. 13-1/90-FP (2) dated 18/9/1990

Applicant: Shri. ___________ age about ___________years
resident of ___________ village in ___________ Taluka of
___________ District.


Sir,
I have heard reports that eviction notices are being issued to adivasis in the State of Gujarat, ostensibly pursuant to a Supreme Court order. Given that I have earlier been told that I am supposedly encroaching on forest lands, I apprehend that you may at some future point attempt to evict me.

In these circumstances, I wish to make clear my claims on my lands in _______________ (Survey No.), ________________ Village, ______________ Taluka, ____________ District.
I am an adivasi of the _____________ community. My family has _______ members. I and my family have been continuously residing on the abovementioned land for generations. I cultivate (forest / patta land) / collect forest produce / work as a wage labourer. The land that I cultivate is approximately _________ acres in size. We cultivate ________________ crops in the small cleared areas in the forests. This cultivation does not in any way harm or damage the forest cover and ecology.

The crops that we grow are for our own consumption and not for commercial purposes.

The land on which my village is situated and the forest lands which I am cultivating from generations was part of the Princely Kingdom of . During the time of the erstwhile Ruler we were residing on and cultivating the said lands with the knowledge of and the permission of the said ruler. In lieu of residing and cultivating the said lands, we were also paying tax to the Forest/Revenue Officals of the said kingdom. We were/were not issued receipt of payments made. I am presently having/not having the said receipts. This fact is known to the Forest, Revenue, Tribal Welfare and other concerned departments.

The princely kingdom was acceded to the Indian Union in the year and the forest areas of the princely kingdom, including the lands where I reside and the lands that I am presently cultivating. However we have never received any notice or notification from your department or any other competent authority that indicated your intention to declare these areas as forest lands. We have reason therefore to believe that the procedures specified in sections and of the Indian Forest Act 1927, have not been complied with. Specifically, my family has never received a notice of the fact that the department intends to declare this area as a reserved forest, as required by section of the said Act.

Without prejudice to my contention that the Forest Department is not the owner of the land, I submit that any steps to evict me are in any case a violation of circular 13-1/90-FP(2) dtd 18.9.90 of the Ministry of Environment and Forests. In the light of the clear and unambiguous language of the circular, since I have been in possession of this land from prior to 1980, I cannot be summarily evicted. As per the same circular, my case and others similar to it should therefore be individually reviewed by a joint team with officers from the Revenue, Tribal Welfare and Forest Departments. These procedures have not been followed.

Indeed, circular 13-1/90-FP(2) of the same date mandates that this joint survey must be performed in cases where there is a dispute involving tribal areas and reserved forests. The relevant part of the circular reads as follows:

2.1 The States/ UTs Administration should review the cases of disputed claims over forest land and identify the following three categories of claims:
[…]
(b) Claims in tribal areas wherever there is prima facie evidence that the process of forest settlement has been vitiated by incomplete or incorrect records/maps or lack of information to the affected persons, as prescribed by law, provided that:

(i) Such forest settlement pertains to a period after 1947; and (ii) the claimants are in possession of the "disputed land'.

This section clearly applies to the present case. Till date we have yet to receive any map or drawing that shows us the boundaries of the supposed reserved forest in this area, and we have not even been informed of when the required notification was issued, if any. Therefore, there is no doubt that the procedures in this circular have not been followed, despite the fact that it has now been thirteen years since these circulars were issued.

In such circumstances, I believe that, if all these procedures are followed, my stand will be vindicated. I therefore request you to refrain from evicting me, which would be an illegal and unjustified act, and instead regularize my possession of the said land.

Finally, I would also like to request a personal hearing with the District Forest Officer and yourself so as to allow me to explain at length the facts of my case. The following documents would be essential for me to put forward my case:

1. Section notification of this area as reserved forest, if it exists;
2. Notice, if any, issued under Section to me or my family;
3. Proceedings of the Forest Settlement Officer, if any;
4. Any further records that may be relevant which are in your possession.

Yours truly,

Proforma for Claims for Pattas/Leases/Grants under FP(3)

To:
The Collector & District Magistrate,
District

Sub:- Request for verification and registration of patta/lease rights to reside and cultivate on lands in ______________ Forest Area of ___________ Village, ________Taluka, __________Dt.

Reference: Settlement of Disputed Claims vide Guidelines of the Ministry of
Environment and Forests (GOI) No. 13-1/90-FP (3) dated 18/9/1990

Applicant: Shri. ___________ age about ___________years
resident of ___________ village in ___________ Taluka of
___________ District.

Sir,
I have heard reports that eviction notices are being issued to adivasis in the State of Gujarat, ostensibly pursuant to a Supreme Court order. Given that, notwithstanding that I have a legal entitlement to the land which has never been withdrawn or cancelled within my knowledge, I have previously been told that I am allegedly encroaching on forest lands, I apprehend that you may at some future point attempt to evict me.

In these circumstances, I wish to make clear my claims on my lands in ______(S. No.) of , ___________Forest Area of _______________Village, of__________ Taluka, ____________ District.
I am an adivasi of the _____________ community. My family has _______ members. I and my family have been continuously in possession of and cultivating the abovementioned land for generations. The land that I cultivate is approximately _________ acres in size.

We cultivate _____________________________ crops in the small cleared areas in the forests. This cultivation does not in any way harm or damage the forest cover and ecology. The crops that we grow are for our own consumption and not for commercial purposes.

The land which I am cultivating from generations was given to me on one year lease/ patta/grant etc. by the competent authorities. In lieu of residing and cultivating the said lands, we were also paying tax/lease rent to the Forest/Revenue Officals. We were/were not issued receipt of payments made. I am presently having/not having the said receipts. This fact is known to the Forest, Revenue, Tribal Welfare and other concerned departments.
Without prejudice to my contention that the Forest Department is not the owner of the land, I submit that any steps to evict me are in any case a violation of circular 13-1/90-FP(3) dtd 18.9.90 of the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

In the light of the clear and unambiguous language of the circular, since I have been in possession of this land under a patta/one year lease/grant from prior to 1980 and the said patta/lease/grant has not been cancelled or withdrawn, I cannot be summarily evicted. As per the same circular, my case and others similar to it should therefore be individually reviewed by a joint team with officers from the Revenue, Tribal Welfare and Forest Departments. These procedures have not been followed.
Indeed, circular 13-1/90-FP(3) of the same date mandates

2.2 In all those cases, where pattas/ leases/ grants were given by the State Government Departments to Scheduled Tribes or rural poor either individually or collectively, such pattas/leases/grants should be honoured and inter-departmental disputes should not affect the rists of the lessees provided they are in physical possession of the land and the term of the pattas/leases/grant has not yet expired. These cases should be examined by district level committees consisting of DFO, SDO, Revenue Department, a respresentative of the Tribal Welfare Department. The disputes should be resolved at the district level wherever it is possible, or after obtaining suitable orders of the State / UT Govt. or the Government of India (If the provisions of the Forests (Conservation) Act, 1980 are attracted), as the case may be.

2.3 Leases of a period prior to 25.10.1980 which were granted to the Scheduled Tribes or to other rural poor for agro-forestry, tree plantation or alike a but could not be renewed, despite the State / UT government's intention to do so, on account of enactment of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 should be examined expeditiously. Where the State / UT Governments desire to continue the leases proposals should be submitted to this Ministry, in the prescribed manner, for seeding prior approval under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980. Pending final decision, that lessees should not be dispossessed of the land.

This section clearly applies to the present case. Till date we have not been informed about the status of our patta/lease/grant and we have not even been informed of when the required notification was issued, if any. Therefore, there is no doubt that the procedures in this circular have not been followed, despite the fact that it has now been thirteen years since these circulars were issued.

In such circumstances, I believe that, if all these procedures are followed, my stand will be vindicated. I therefore request you to refrain from evicting me, which would be an illegal and unjustified act, and instead regularize my possession of the said land.

Finally, I would also like to request a personal hearing with you and the District Forest Officer and yourself so as to allow me to explain at length the facts of my case.

Yours truly,


Home | Index | Back