The Forest Rights Act

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Tomorrow, SC Will Hear New Applications in Anti Forest Rights Case That Again Threaten Rights of Millions

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case against the Forest Rights Act tomorrow, September 12th (see here for a brief explainer about the Act and the case). The petitioners have filed new applications in this case that could again result in millions of people being denied their rights.

The key question tomorrow will be – will the Central government oppose these applications and defend the FRA? Or will it again choose to just argue on technicalities?

In three new applications before the Court, the petitioners are again seeking to turn the focus of their case away from the constitutionality of the law and on to new subjects which have nothing to do with their original petition. The two main applications are here and here, but relevant paras are linked below. They want the Court to:

The only reason they have gotten away with all this so far is because of the silence of the Central government. Back in February, the Court had passed orders that would have resulted in the eviction of at least nine million people. These orders were subsequently put “on hold” after nationwide protests resulted in the Central government asking the Court to do so.

Till date, the Central government has never asked the Court to withdraw these orders. It has instead only seemed to be wanting to buy time. Will it oppose these new applications?

Again, to know more about this case and the background to it and the Act, see our explainer here.

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