22, Oct 2019 | CJP Team
The Bombay Natural History Society, the Wildlife Trust of India, the All Assam Tribal Youth League, and the Wildlife Society of Orissa filed a Writ Petition against challenging the validity of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (the FRA), particularly its Chapter II and III concerning forest rights and recognition, restoration and vesting of forest rights and related matters respectively.
The Petition states that the Petitioners are nature conservation organizations that seek to promote ecological security and believe it can be achieved by adhering to the principles of sustainable development, particular the Precautionary Principle. The Petitioners expressed concerns over the “eminent domain.” The Petition also seeks “effective enforcement of provisions relating to Article 224 and 224A read with clauses of the Fifth and Sixth Schedule which prohibit and restrict the transfer of lands by or among members of the Scheduled Tribes in Scheduled Areas”.
This Writ Petition (W.P. No. 50/2008) was the first to challenge the FRA’s validity, prior to the Writ Petition with Wildlife First as first Petitioner (W.P. No. 108/2008). In September 2019, Wildlife Trust of India made a public statement stating that many of its initial fears were allayed since after the FRAwas rolled out, and consequentially, it has not been involved in the case for over 10 years. It observed, “Our name may be attached to the initial case only as PILs cannot boe withdrawn once filed.”
The Writ Petition may be read here: