Supreme Court Declines to Stay Forest Rights Act, Constitutes Fresh Bench to Hear Matter
The forest Bench of the Supreme Court today refused to entertain an application by hardline wildlife conservationists to effectively stay the Forest Rights Act. The petitioners asked the court to stay any decision on claims. This would have effectively deprived millions of people of their rights and returned them to the status of subjects at the mercy of the Forest Department. The Court did not agree with this, and asked how a Central Act can be stayed in such a manner. The court also declined to issue notice to the government on the application for a stay. The entire matter will now be placed before a newly constituted Bench.
The petitioners in this case have used fearmongering, false propaganda, legal distortions and blatantly cynical arguments to attack this legislation. Yet the same petitioners have done nothing to object to the new Environmental Impact Assessment notification, illegal diversion of forest lands by the Central government or other instances where the interests of industry and corporate profit are served. There can be no better indicator of their approach. To the petitioners, keeping power with the forest bureaucracy is the most important goal, and hence knowingly or unknowingly they put themselves at the service of a galaxy of bureaucratic and corporate vested interests.
A summary of the arguments made by the petitioners in their petition along with more information on the Act is available at www.forestrightsact.com. Click on "Court Cases" on the left and choose "Supreme Court Cases".
On behalf of the Convening Collective Campaign for Survival and Dignity