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Ministry of Tribal Affairs
(TO BE PUBLISHED IN THE GAZETTE OF INDIA, EXTRAORDINARY, PART II, SECTION 3, SUB-SECTION (i) OF DATED 1st JANUARY, 2008) GOVERNMENT OF INDIA MINISTRY OF TRIBAL AFFAIRS New Delhi, the 1 st January, 2008 NOTIFICATION G.S.R. ____________(E).-- WHEREAS the draft Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Rules, 2007 were published, as required by sub-section (1) of section 14 of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (2 of 2007) under the notification of the Government of India in the Ministry of Tribal Affairs number G.S.R.437(E), dated the 19 th June, 2007 in the Gazette of India, Part II, Section 3, sub-section (i) of the same date, inviting objections and suggestions from all persons likely to be affected thereby, before the expiry of the period of forty-five days from the date on which the copies of the Gazette containing the said notification are made available to the public; AND WHEREAS copies of the said Gazette were made available to the public on 25.06.2007; AND WHEREAS the objections and suggestions received from the public in respect of the said draft rules have been duly considered by the Central Government; NOW, THEREFORE, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-sections (1) and (2) of section 14 of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (2 of 2007), the Central Government hereby makes the following rules for recognizing and vesting the forest rights and occupation in forest land in forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers residing in such forests, namely:- 1. Short title, extent and commencement.- (1) These rules may be called the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Rules, 2007. (2) They shall extend to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir. (3) They shall come into force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette.
2. Definitions.- (1) In these rules, unless the context otherwise requires: (a) 'Act' means the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (2 of 2007); (b) 'bonafide livelihood needs' means fulfillment of sustenance needs of self and family through production or sale of produce resulting from self-cultivation of forest land as provided under clauses (a), (c) and (d) of sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Act; (c) 'claimant' means an individual, group of individuals, family or community making a claim for recognition and vesting of rights listed in the Act; (d) 'disposal of minor forest produce' under clause (c) of sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Act shall include local level processing, value addition, transportation in forest area through head-loads, bicycle and handcarts for use of such produce or sale by the gatherer or the community for livelihood; (e) 'Forest Rights Committee' means a committee constituted by the Gram Sabha under rule 3; (f) 'section' means the section of the Act; (2) The words and expressions used and not defined in these rules but defined in the Act, shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in the Act. 3. Gram Sabha.- (1) The Gram Sabhas shall be convened by the Gram Panchayat and in its first meeting it shall elect from amongst its members, a committee of not less than ten but not exceeding fifteen persons as members of the Forest Rights Committee, wherein at least one-third members shall be the Scheduled Tribes: Provided that not less than one-third of such members shall be women: Provided further that where there are no Scheduled Tribes, at least one- third of such members shall be women. (2) The Forest Rights Committee shall decide on a chairperson and a secretary and intimate it to the Sub-Divisional Level Committee. (3) When a member of the Forest Rights Committee is also a claimant of individual forest right, he shall inform the Committee and shall not participate in the verification proceedings when his claim is considered. 4. Functions of the Gram Sabha .- (1) The Gram Sabha shall - (a) initiate the process of determining the nature and extent of forest rights, receive and hear the claims relating thereto; (b) prepare a list of claimants of forests rights and maintain a register containing such details of claimants and their claims as the Central Government may by order determine; (c) pass a resolution on claims on forest rights after giving reasonable opportunity to interested persons and authorities concerned and forward the same to the Sub-Divisional Level Committee; 2 (d) consider resettlement packages under clause (e) of sub section (2) of section 4 of the Act and pass appropriate resolutions; and (e) constitute Committees for the protection of wildlife, forest and biodiversity, from amongst its members, in order to carry out the provisions of section 5 of the Act. (2) The quorum of the Gram Sabha meeting shall be not less than two thirds of all members of such Gram Sabha: Provided that where there is a heterogeneous population of Scheduled Tribes and non Scheduled Tribes in any village, the members of the Scheduled Tribe, primitive tribal groups (PTGs) and pre-agricultural communities shall be adequately represented. (3) The Gram Sabha shall be provided with the necessary assistance by the authorities in the State. 5. Sub-Divisional Level Committee.- The State Government shall constitute Sub- Divisional Level Committee with the following members, namely:- (a) Sub-Divisional Officer or equivalent officer - Chairperson; (b) Forest Officer in charge of a Sub-division or equivalent officer - member; (c) three members of the Block or Tehsil level Panchayats to be nominated by the District Panchayat of whom at least two shall be the Scheduled Tribes preferably those who are forest dwellers, or who belong to the primitive tribal groups and where there are no Scheduled Tribes, two members who are preferably other traditional forest dwellers, and one shall be a woman member; or in areas covered under the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution, three members nominated by the Autonomous District Council or Regional Council or other appropriate zonal level, of whom at least one shall be a woman member; and (d) an officer of the Tribal Welfare Department in-charge of the Sub-division or where such officer is not available the officer in-charge of the tribal affairs. 6. Functions of the Sub-Divisional Level Committee.- The Sub-Divisional Level Committee (SDLC) shall - (a) provide information to each Gram Sabha about their duties and duties of holder of forest rights and others towards protection of wildlife, forest and biodiversity with reference to critical flora and fauna which need to be conserved and protected ; (b) provide forest and revenue maps and electoral rolls to the Gram Sabha or the Forest Rights Committee; (c) collate all the resolutions of the concerned Gram Sabhas; 3 (d) consolidate maps and details provided by the Gram Sabhas; (e) examine the resolutions and the maps of the Gram Sabhas to ascertain the veracity of the claims; (f) hear and adjudicate disputes between Gram Sabhas on the nature and extent of any forest rights; (g) hear petitions from persons, including State agencies, aggrieved by the resolutions of the Gram Sabhas; (h) co-ordinate with other Sub-Divisional Level Committees for inter sub- divisional claims ; (i) prepare block or tehsil-wise draft record of proposed forest rights after reconciliation of government records; (j) forward the claims with the draft record of proposed forest rights through the Sub-Divisional Officer to the District Level Committee for final decision; (k) raise awareness among forest dwellers about the objectives and procedures laid down under the Act and in the rules ; (l) ensure easy and free availability of proforma of claims to the claimants as provided in Annexure-I (Forms A & B) of these rules; (m) ensure that the Gram Sabha meetings are conducted in free, open and fair manner with requisite quorum. 7. District Level Committee.- The State Government shall constitute District Level Committee (DLC) with the following members, namely:- (a) District Collector or Deputy Commissioner - Chairperson; (b) concerned Divisional Forest Officer or concerned Deputy Conservator of Forest - member; (c) three members of the district panchayat to be nominated by the district panchayat, of whom at least two shall be the Scheduled Tribes preferably those who are forest dwellers, or who belong to members of the primitive tribal groups, and where there are no Scheduled Tribes, two members who are preferably other traditional forest dwellers, and one shall be a woman member; or in areas covered under the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution, three members nominated by the Autonomous District Council or Regional Council of whom at least one shall be a woman member; and (d) an officer of the Tribal Welfare Department in-charge of the district or where such officer is not available, the officer in charge of the tribal affairs. 8. Functions of District Level Committee.- The District Level Committee shall (a) ensure that the requisite information under clause (b) of rule 6 has been provided to Gram Sabha or Forest Rights Committee; 4 (b) examine whether all claims, especially those of primitive tribal groups, pastoralists and nomadic tribes, have been addressed keeping in mind the objectives of the Act; (c) consider and finally approve the claims and record of forest rights prepared by the Sub-Divisional Level Committee; (d) hear petitions from persons aggrieved by the orders of the Sub-Divisional Level Committee; (e) co-ordinate with other districts regarding inter-district claims; (f) issue directions for incorporation of the forest rights in the relevant government records including record of rights; (g) ensure publication of the record of forest rights as may be finalized; and (h) ensure that a certified copy of the record of forest rights and title under the Act, as specified in Annexures II & III to these rules, is provided to the concerned claimant and the Gram Sabha respectively ; 9. State Level Monitoring Committee. - The State Government shall constitute a State Level Monitoring Committee with the following members, namely:- (a) Chief Secretary - Chairperson; (b) Secretary, Revenue Department - member; (c) Secretary, Tribal or Social Welfare Department - member; (d) Secretary, Forest Department - member; (e) Secretary, Panchayati Raj - member; (f) Principal Chief Conservator of Forests - member; (g) three Scheduled Tribes member of the Tribes Advisory Council, to be nominated by the Chairperson of the Tribes Advisory Council and where there is no Tribes Advisory Council, three Scheduled Tribes members to be nominated by the State Government; (h) Commissioner, Tribal Welfare or equivalent who shall be the Member- Secretary. 10. Functions of the State Level Monitoring Committee.- The State Level Monitoring Committee shall: (a) devise criteria and indicators for monitoring the process of recognition and vesting of forest rights; (b) monitor the process of recognition, verification and vesting of forest rights in the State; (c) furnish a six monthly report on the process of recognition, verification and vesting of forest rights and submit to the nodal agency such returns and reports as may be called for by the nodal agency; (d) on receipt of a notice as mentioned in section 8 of the Act, take appropriate actions against the concerned authorities under the Act; (e) monitor resettlement under sub-section (2) of section 4 of the Act. 5
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