Enjoy SmartLeges Premium!

Subscribe to SmartLeges Premium and enjoy the following advantages:

  • Consult as many laws as you need with no additional charge
  • Consult almost any law in several countries with the new advanced search engine. All legislation within reach!
  • Enjoy all SmartLeges functions without restrictions
See the plans

An essential and free application for professionals and students in the legal sector

Read more
 

Sign up for free!

Would you like to consult this and other laws complete?

Sign up for free to consult all the laws of SmartLeges in your mobile phone or tablet, as well as underline text, add notes...

Sign up for free!

Share this law Other laws of India
Email Facebook Twitter Google Linkedin Tumblr

INDIAN FOREST ACT

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 16 of 1927


  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter 3
  • Chapter 4
  • Chapter 5
  • Chapter 6
  • Chapter 7
  • Chapter 8
  • Chapter 9
  • Chapter 10
  • Chapter 11
  • Chapter 12
  • Chapter 13
  • Schedules
  • Act nº 16 of 1927

Preamble

THE INDIAN FOREST ACT, 19271

[Act, No. 16 of 1927]

[21st September, 1927]

PREAMBLE

An Act to consolidate the law relating to forests, the transit of forest-produce and the duty leviable on timber and other forest-produce.

w hereas it is expedient to consolidate the law relating to forests, the transit of forest-produce and the duty leviable on timber and other forest-produce; It is hereby enacted as follows:-

1. This Act has been declared to be in force in the Khondmals District by the Khondmals Laws Regulation, 1936 (4 of 1936), section 3 and Schedule; and in the Angul District by the Angul Laws Regulation, 1936 (5 of 1936), section 3 and Schedule.

This Act has been extended to :-

(1) Berar (partially) by the Berar Laws Act, 1941 (4 of 1941).

(2) The Province of Coorg, see Coorg Gazette, 1930, Pt. I p. 94.

(3) The Delhi Province, see Gazette of India, 1933, Pt. IIA, p. 293.

(4) The whole of Madhya Pradesh, by M.P. Act 23 of 1958.

(5) Dadra and Nagar Haveli, by Reg. 6 of 1963, section 2 and Schedule I (w.e.f. 1.7.1965).

(6) Pondicherry by Reg. 7 of 1963, section 3 and Schedule (w.e.f. 1.10.1963).

(7) Goa, Daman and Diu by Reg. 11 of 1963, section 3 and Schedule; and

(8) Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindvi Islands by the Reg. 8 of 1965, section 3 and Schedule (w.e.f. 1.10.1967).

(9) Sikkim by S.O. 1138 (E), dated 1st December, 1988 (w.e.f. 20.4.1989).


Chapter 1

Section 1. Short title and extent

(1) This Act may be called the Indian Forest Act, 1927.

1[ (2) It extends to the whole of India except the territories which, immediately before the 1st November, 1956, were comprised in Part BStates.

(3) It applies to the territories which, immediately before the 1st November, 1956, were comprised in the States of Bihar, Bombay, Coorg, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal; but the Government of any State may by notification in the Official Gazette bring this Act into force in the whole or any specified part of that State to which this Act extends and where it is not in force. ]

1. Substituted by the Adaptation of Laws (No. 3) Order, 1956, for sub-sections (2) and (3).


Section 2. Interpretation clause

In this Act, unless thereis anything repugnant in the subject or context,-

(1)"cattle" includes elephants, camels, buffaloes, horses, mares,geldings, ponies, colts, fillies, mules, asses, pigs, rams, ewes, sheep, lambs,goats and kids;

(2)"Forest-officer" means any person whom 1 [* * *] the 2 [State Government] or any office empowered by 1 [* * *] the 2 [State Government] in this behalf, may appoint to carry outall or any of the purposes of this Act or to do anything required by this Actor any rule made thereunder to be done by a Forest-officer;] in this behalf, may appoint to carry outall or any of the purposes of this Act or to do anything required by this Actor any rule made thereunder to be done by a Forest-officer;

(3)"forest-offence" means an offence punishable under this Act or underany rule made thereunder;

(4)"forest-produce" includes-

(a) thefollowing whether found in, or brought from, a forest or not, that is tosay-timber, charcoal, caoutchouc, calechu, wood-oil, resin, natural varnish,bark, lac, mahua flowers, mahua seeds, 3 [kuth]and myrabolams, and

(b) thefollowing when found in, or brought from a forest, that is to say-

(i)treesand leaves, flowers and fruits, and all other parts or produce not hereinbeforementioned, of trees,

(ii) plantsnot being trees (including grass, creepers, reeds and moss), and all parts orproduce of such plants,

(iii)wildanimals and skins, tusks, horns, bones, silk, cocoons, honey and wax, and allother parts or produce of animals, and

(iv) peat,surface soil, rock and minerals (including lime-stone, laterite, mineral oils,and all products of mines or quarries);

4 [(4A) "owner" includes a Court of Wards in respect of propertyunder the superintendence or charge of such Court;]

(5)"river" includes any stream, canal, creek or other channels, naturalor artificial;

(6)"timber" includes trees when they have fallen or have been felled,and all wood whether cut up or fashioned or hollowed out for any purpose ornot; and

(7)"tree" includes palms, bamboos, skumps, brush-wood and canes.

1. The words "the Government-Generalin Council or" omitted bythe A.O. 1937.

2. Substituted by theA.O. 1950,for "ProvincialGovernment".

3. Inserted by Act 26 of 1930,section 2.

4. Inserted by Act 3 of 1933, section 2.


Chapter 2

Section 3. Power to reserve forests

The1[ State Government ] may constitute any forest-land or waste-land which is the property of Government, or over which the Government has proprietary rights, or to the whole or any part of the forest-produce of which the Government is entitled, a reserved forest in the manner hereinafter provided.

_

1. Substituted by the A.O. 1950, for "Provincial Government".

Section 4. Notification by State Government

4 . Notification by1[ State Government ] ]

( 1) Whenever it has been decided to constitute any land a reserved forest, the1[ State Government ] shall issue a notification in the2[ Official Gazette ] - ] -

(a) declaring that it has been decided to constitute such land a reserved forest;

(b) specifying, as nearly as possible, the situation and limits of such land; and

(c) appointing an officer (hereinafter called "the Forest Settlement-officer") to inquire into and determine the existence, nature and extent of any rights alleged to exist in favour of any person in or over any land comprised within such limits or in or over any forest-produce, and to deal with the same as provided in this Chapter.

Explanation.-For the purpose of clause (b), it shall be sufficient to describe the limits of the forest by roads, rivers, ridges or other well-known or readily intelligible boundaries.

(2) The officer appointed under clause (c) of sub-section (1) shall ordinarily be a person not holding any forest-office except that of Forest Settlement-officer.

(3) Nothing in this section shall prevent the1[ State Government ] from appointing any number of officers not exceeding three, not more than one of whom shall be a person holding any forest-office except as aforesaid, to perform the duties of a Forest Settlement-officer under this Act.

_

1. Substituted by the A.O. 1950, for "Provincial Government".

2. Substituted by the A.O. 1937, for "Local Official Gazette".

Section 5. Bar of accrual of forest-rights

After the issue of a notification under section 4, no right shall be acquired in or over the land comprised in such notification, except by succession or under a grant or contract in writing made or entered into by or on behalf of the1[ Government ] or some person in whom such right was vested when the notification was issued; and no fresh clearings for cultivation or for any other purpose shall be made in s uch land except in accordance with such rules as may be made by the2[ State Government ] in this behalf.

_

1. Substituted by the A.O. 1950, for "Crown".

2. Substituted by the A.O. 1950, for "Provincial Government".

Section 6. Proclamation by Forest Settlement-officer

When a notification has been issued under section 4, the Forest Settlement-officer shall publish in the local vernacular in every town and village in the neighbourhood of the land comprised therein, a proclamation

(a) specifying, as nearly as possible, the situation and limits of the proposed forest;

(b) explaining the consequences which, as hereinafter provided, will ensue on the reservation of such forest; and

(c) fixing a period of not less than three months from the date of such proclamation, and requiring every person claiming any right mentioned in section 4 or section 5 within such period either to present to the Forest Settlement-officer a written notice specifying or to appear before him and state, the nature of such right and the amount and particulars of the compensation (if any) claimed in respect thereof.

Section 7. Inquiry by Forest Settlement-officer

The Forest Settlement-officer shall take down in writing all statements made under section 6, and shall at some convenient place inquire into all claims duly preferred under that section, and the existence of any rights mentioned in section 4 or section 5 and not claimed under section 6 so far as the same may be ascertainable from the records of Government and the evidence of any persons likely to be acquainted with the same.

Section 8. Powers of Forest Settlement-officers

For the purpose of such inquiry, the Forest Settlement-officer may exercise the following powers, that is to say:

(a) power to enter, by himself or any officer authorised by him for the purpose, upon any land, and to survey, demarcate and make a map of the same; and

(b) the powers of a Civil Court in the trial of suits.

Section 9. Extinction of rights

Rights in respect of which no claim has been preferred under section 6, and of the existence of which no knowledge has been acquired by inquiry under section 7, shall be extinguished, unless before the notification under section 20 is published, the person claiming them satisfies the Forest Settlement-officer that he had sufficient cause for not preferring such claim within the period fixed under section 6.

Section 10. Treatment of claims relating to practice of shifting cultivation

(1) In the case of a claim relating to the practice of shifting cultivation, the Forest Settlement-officer shall record a statement setting forth the particulars of the claim and of any local rule or order under which the practice is allowed or regulated, and submit the statement to the State Government, together with his opinion as to whether the practice should be permitted or prohibited wholly or in part.

(2) On receipt of the statement and opinion, the1[ State Government ] may make an order permitting or prohibiting the practice wholly or in part.

(3) If such practice is permitted wholly or in part, the Forest Settlement-officer may arrange for its exercise-

(a) by altering the limits of the land under settlement so as to exclude land of sufficient extent, of a suitable kind, and in a locality reasonably convenient for the purposes of the claimants, or

(b) by causing certain portions of the land under settlement to be separately demarcated, and giving permission to the claimants to practice shifting cultivation therein under such conditions as he may prescribe.

(4) All arrangements made under sub-section (3) shall be subject to the previous sanction of the1[ State Government ] .

(5) The practice of shifting cultivation shall in all cases be deemed a privilege subject to control, restriction and abolition by the1[ State Government ] .

_

1. Substituted by the A.O. 1950, for "Provincial Government".

Section 11. Power to acquire land over which right is claimed

(1) In the case of a claim to a right in or over any land, other than aright of way or right of pasture, or a right to forest-produce or a water-course, the Forest Settlement-officer shall pass an order admitting or rejecting the same in whole or in part.

(2) If such claim is admitted in whole or in part, the Forest Settlement-officer shall either

(i) exclude such land from the limits of the proposed forest; or

(ii) come to an agreement with the owner thereof for the surrender of his rights; or

(iii) proceed to acquire such land in the manner provided by the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (1 of 1894).

(3) For the purpose of so acquiring such land

(a) the Forest Settlement-officer shall be deemed to be a Collector proceeding under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (1 of 1894);

(b) the claimant shall be deemed to be a person interested and appearing before him in pursuance of a notice given under section 9 of that Act;

(c) the provisions of the preceding sections of that Act shall be deemed to have been complied with; and

(d) the Collector, with the consent of the claimant, or the Court, with the consent of both parties, may award compensation in land, or partly in land and partly in money.

Section 12. Order on claims to rights of pasture or to forest-produce

In the case of a claim to rights of pasture or to forest-produce, the Forest Settlement-officer shall pass an order admitting or rejecting the same in whole or in part.