Put Forest Rights Act in 9th Schedule, demands Brinda

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New Delhi, Mar 3 (UNI) Members in the Rajya Sabha today tried to put the Government in the dock over the implementation of the Forest Rights Act, and Ms Brinda Karat of the CPI(M) demanded that the Act be placed in the 9th Schedule of the Constitution to save it from judicial scrutiny.

Ms Karat told Minister for Tribal Affairs P R Kyndiah that the gap in the passing of the Act and its implementation had resulted in large-scale illegal eviction of tribals from their settlements.

Pointing out that the Tamil Nadu High Court had ordered a stay on the implementation of the Act in the national parks and sanctuaries, she said the Government should put the law in the 9th schedule of the Constitution so that it could be implemented without judicial interventions.

One Member complained that a large number of tribals in Gujarat were being denied their rights under the Act. He said 68,000 tribals had filed applications for protecting their agricultural land, but the government insted of restoring the land to them had started plantations there. There was also an incident of a clash and police firing on them, he said.

The members said it was unfortunate that even after 60 years of Independence, tribals had bot been restored their right on their land, and they were being evicted when the crop was ready while as per the government policy no eviction should take place at such a time.

The Minister said the government was aware of the cases related to the Act pending in various courts, and also of complaints from various parts of the country and was taking suitable measures.

His answer did not satisfy the members, and they demanded that the Centre should come out with firm and concrete steps to ''sincerely'' implement the law.

UNI NAZ YA KP1515

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