The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006

The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, is a key piece of forest legislation passed in India on 18 December 2006. It has also been called the Forest Rights Act, the Tribal Rights Act, the Tribal Bill, and the Tribal Land Act. The law concerns the rights of forest-dwelling communities to land and other resources, denied to them over decades as a result of the continuance of colonial forest laws in India.

Supporters of the Act claim that it will redress the "historical injustice" committed against forest dwellers, while including provisions for making conservation more effective and more transparent. The demand for the law has seen massive national demonstrations involving hundreds of thousands of people.[1]

However, the law has also been the subject of considerable controversy in the English press in India. Opponents of the law claim it will lead to massive forest destruction and should be repealed (see below).

A little over one year after it was passed, the Act was notified into force on 31 December 2007. On 1 January 2008, this was followed by the notification of the Rules framed by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs to supplement the procedural aspects of the Act.[2]

The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
An Act to recognise and vest the forest rights and occupation in forest land in forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers who have been residing in such forests for generations but whose rights could not be recorded; to provide for a framework for recording the forest rights so vested and the nature of evidence required for such recognition and vesting in respect of forest land.
CitationAct No. 2 of 2007
Enacted byParliament of India
Date enacted29 December 2006
Date assented to29 December 2006
Date commenced31 December 2007
Status: In force

Background

India's forests are home to hundreds of millions of people, including many Scheduled Tribes, who live in or near the forest areas of the country. Nearly 250 million people live in and around forests in India, of which the estimated indigenous Adivasi or tribal population stands at about 100 million. To put these numbers in perspective, if considered a nation by themselves, they would form the 13th largest country in the world, even though they cannot be depicted as representing any singular, monolithic culture.[3] Forests provide sustenance in the form of minor forest produce, water, grazing grounds and habitat for shifting cultivation. Moreover, vast areas of land that may or may not be forests are classified as "forest" under India's forest laws, and those cultivating these lands are technically cultivating "forest land".[4] Forest Rights Act is also known as Community Forest Management (CFM) in Telangana.


Since time immemorial, the tribal communities of India have had an integral and close knit relationship with the forests and have been dependent on the forests for livelihoods and existence. The relationship was mutually beneficial and not one sided. However, rights were rarely recognized by the authorities and in the absence of real ownership of the land, the already marginalized local dwellers suffered.[5]

The reason for this latter phenomenon is India's forest laws. India's forests are governed by two main laws, the Indian Forest Act, 1927 and the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. The former empowers the government to declare any area to be a reserved forest, protected forest or village forest. The latter allows any area to be constituted as a "protected area", namely a national park, wildlife sanctuary, tiger reserve or community conservation area.[6]

Under these laws, the rights of people living in or depending on the area to be declared as a forest or protected area are to be "settled" by a "forest settlement officer." This basically requires that officer to enquire into the claims of people to land, minor forest produce, etc., and, in the case of claims found to be valid, to allow them to continue or to extinguish them by paying compensation.

Studies have shown that in many areas this process either did not take place at all or took place in a highly faulty manner. Thus 82.9% of the forest blocks in undivided Madhya Pradesh had not been settled as of December 2003,[7] while all the hilly tracts of Odisha were declared government forests without any survey.[8] In Odisha, around 40% of the government forests are "deemed reserved forests" which have not been surveyed.[9]

Those whose rights are not recorded during the settlement process are susceptible to eviction at any time. This "legal twilight zone" leads to harassment, evictions, extortion of money and sexual molestation of forest dwellers by forest officials, who wield absolute authority over forest dwellers' livelihoods and daily lives.[10]

The Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Forest Rights Act describes it as a law intended to correct the "historical injustice" done to forest dwellers by the failure to recognise their rights.[11]

"The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006" was enacted by the Parliament of India in December 2006.[12]

Provisions

The Act as passed in 2006 has the following basic points.

Types of rights

The rights which are included in section 3(1) of the Act are:

  1. Right to hold and live in the forest land under the individual or common occupation for habitation or for self-cultivation for livelihood by a member or members of a forest dwelling Scheduled Tribe or other traditional forest dwellers;
  2. Community rights such as nistar, by whatever name called, including those used in erstwhile Princely states, Zamindari or such intermediary regimes;
  3. Right of ownership, access to collect, use, and dispose of minor forest produce( includes all non-timber forest produce of plant origin) which has been traditionally collected within or outside village boundaries;
  4. Other community rights of uses of entitlements such as fish and other products of water bodies, grazing (both settled or transhumant) and traditional seasonal resource access of nomadic or pastoralist communities;
  5. Rights including community tenures of habitat and habitation for primitive tribal groups and pre-agriculture communities;
  6. Rights in or over disputed lands under any nomenclature in any State where claims are disputed;
  7. Rights for conversion of Pattas or leases or grants issued by any local council or any State Govt. on forest lands to titles;
  8. Rights of settlement and conversion of all forest villages, old habitation, unsurveyed villages and other villages in forest, whether recorded, notified or not into revenue villages;
  9. Right to protect, regenerate or conserve or manage any community forest resource which they have been traditionally protecting and conserving for sustainable use;
  10. Rights which are recognised under any State law or laws of any Autonomous Dist. Council or Autonomous Regional Council or which are accepted as rights of tribals under any traditional or customary law of the concerned tribes of any State;
  11. Right of access to biodiversity and community right to intellectual property and traditional knowledge related to biodiversity and cultural diversity;
  12. Any other traditional right customarily enjoyed by the forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes or other traditional forest dwellers, as the case may be, which are not mentioned in clauses-1 to 11, but excluding the traditional right of hunting or trapping extracting a part of the body of any species of wild animal

These can be summarised as:

  • Title rights - i.e. ownership - to land that is being farmed by tribals or forest dwellers as on 13 December 2005, subject to a maximum of 4 hectares; ownership is only for land that is actually being cultivated by the concerned family as on that date, meaning that no new lands are granted[13]
  • Use rights - to minor forest produce (also including ownership), to grazing areas, to pastoralist routes, etc.[14]
  • Relief and development rights - to rehabilitation in case of illegal eviction or forced displacement;[15] and to basic amenities, subject to restrictions for forest protection[16]
  • Forest management rights - to protect forests and wildlife[17]

Eligibility criteria

Eligibility to get rights under the Act is confined to those who "primarily reside in forests" and who depend on forests and forest land for a livelihood.[18] Further, either the claimant must be a member of the Scheduled Tribes scheduled in that area[19] or must have been residing in the forest for 75 years.[20]

Process of recognition of rights

Section 6(1) of the Act provides that the gram sabha, or village assembly, will initially pass a resolution recommending whose rights to which resources should be recognised (i.e. which lands belong to whom, how much land was under the cultivation of each person as on 13 Dec 2005, etc.). This resolution is then screened and approved at the level of the sub-division (or taluka) and subsequently at the district level. The screening committees consist of three government officials (Forest, Revenue and Tribal Welfare departments) and three elected members of the local body at that level. These committees also hear appeals.[21]

Resettlement for wildlife conservation

Section 4(2) of the Act lays out a procedure by which people can be resettled from areas if it is found to be necessary for wildlife conservation. The first step is to show that relocation is scientifically necessary and no other alternative is available; this has to be done through a process of public consultation. The second step is that the local community must consent to the resettlement. Finally, the resettlement must provide not only compensation but a secure livelihood.[22]

Misunderstanding the Act as a land distribution scheme

A great deal of the debate is fuelled by misunderstandings of the purpose of the Act. The most common is that the purpose of the law is to distribute forest land to forest dwellers or tribals, often claimed to be at the rate of 4 hectares per family.[23] The Act is intended to recognise lands that are already under cultivation as on 13 December 2005, not to grant title to any new lands.

Opposition

The Act has been met with much concern and opposition from environmentalists and wildlife conservationists. Some of this opposition has been motivated by those who see the law as a land distribution scheme that will lead to the handing over of forests to tribals and forest dwellers (see Vanashakti, a group opposed to the Act, as an example). But the strongest opposition to the Act has come from wildlife conservationists who fear that the law will make it impossible to create "inviolate spaces", or areas free of human presence, for the purposes of wildlife conservation.[24] Tiger conservation in particular has been an object of concern.

Interpretation regarding Deadline cut-off-date: M.Sai Sampath, Founder-President ECO FAWN Society had actively engaged in environment and wildlife conservation who also appeared before Hon'ble Parliamentary Committee suggested for incorporation of "Deadline cut-off-date" to complete whole process of identification, verification and recognition of Forest Rights to genuine tribals and other traditional forest dwellers in the country. Also importantly Mr.M.Sai Sampath had correlated decline/encroachment of forest land with the implementation of FRA 2006 in the country where the Hon'ble Parliamentary Committee has agreed the submission made and pointed an extent of 16.21 Lakh Ha of forest land encroached after implementation of the Forest Rights Act 2006, subsequently various measures were suggested by the Parliamentary Committee. (9th and 18th Report of the Parliamentary Committee on Petitions, 16th Lok Sabha).

Supporters of the Act take the position that the Act is not a land distribution measure, and further that the Act is more transparent than existing law and so can help stop land grabbing.[25] Regarding wildlife conservation, they have argued that the Act actually provides a clear and explicit procedure for resettling people where necessary for wildlife protection, but also provides safeguards to prevent this being done arbitrarily.[26][27]

Indeed, while concerned at some of the provisions, some environmentalists have also argued that "Conservationists who have stated that the Forest Bill will be the death-knell of India's forests are indulging in unsubstantiated exaggeration".[28]

Supporters of the Act and others also argue that the provisions in the Act for community conservation will in fact strengthen forest protection in the country. This is said to be because it will provide a legal right for communities themselves to protect the forest, as thousands of villages are already doing in the face of official opposition.[29][30]

Television advertisements

In October 2003, Vanashakti, a group based in Mumbai, ran television advertisements against the Act. This is the first time any Indian legislation has been attacked through a television campaign.[31]

Six advertisements were run by the organisation across major Indian news and television channels, ads which continue to be available on their website. The group criticised the Forest Rights Act as having the potential to cause huge floods, droughts, and to increase global warming.[32] They also decried it as an effort to keep "tribals in the forest" instead of assisting their "development."

In response to questions from a newspaper, Vanashakti claimed to have been formed over "a dinner table conversation" as a result of deep concern about the Forest Rights Act and the lack of media attention to it.[33]

The television ad campaign was met with angry responses from forest rights organisations. The Campaign for Survival and Dignity, a federation of tribal and forest dwellers' organisations from several States of India, wrote an Open Letter to Vanashakti, criticising them for "attacking the Forest Rights Act through distortions and untruths that do nothing to reinforce forest protection, and a great deal to undermine it." The Campaign also put up a website entitled "Vanashakti's Distortions and Untruths". An exchange of correspondence followed, which can be found both at the Vanashakti website and at the website on the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act" put up by the Campaign [1].

Criticism by forest rights supporters

While supporting the principles of the law, forest rights supporters are not entirely satisfied with the law as finally passed. The recommendations of a Joint Parliamentary Committee on the law were partly rejected, and supporters of forest rights have claimed that some of the rejected clauses were important. In particular, the final form of the law is said to make it easier to exclude some categories of both tribal and non-tribal forest dwellers, to have undermined the democratic nature of the processes in the Act and to have placed additional hindrances and bureaucratic restrictions on people's rights.[34] The Campaign for Survival and Dignity described the final form of the law as "both a victory and a betrayal" in their official statement on the occasion.[35]

Notification

The one-year delay in the notification of the Act and the Rules was the subject of considerable Parliamentary and political uproar in the winter session of the Indian Parliament in 2007.[36] There was also mass protests across India demanding that the Act be notified in October 2007, and in November 2007 a week-long sit down protest took place in Delhi with the same demand.[37]

On 31 December, the Act was notified into force, and on 1 January the Rules for the Act - which provide the procedures for implementing its provisions - were also notified.[38] The Campaign for Survival and Dignity welcomed the notification but sharply criticised a number of provisions in the Rules, claiming that they undermined democracy and the spirit of the Act.[39]

Implementation

There have been numerous complaints regarding the manner in which the Act has been implemented after its notification. For instance, in September 2010, the Council for Social Development, a New Delhi-based think tank, released a "Summary Report on Implementation of the Forest Rights Act" which stated that:

All of the key features of this legislation have been undermined by a combination of apathy and sabotage during the process of implementation. In the current situation the rights of the majority of tribals and other traditional forest dwellers are being denied and the purpose of the legislation is being defeated. Unless immediate remedial measures are taken, instead of undoing the historical injustice to tribal and other traditional forest dwellers, the Act will have the opposite outcome of making them even more vulnerable to eviction and denial of their customary access to forests... both the Central and the State governments have actively pursued policies that are in direct violation of the spirit and letter of the Act."[40]

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs releases monthly reports on the status of implementation of the Act. These can be obtained from the Ministry's website.

References

  1. ^ Press releases on the Forest Rights Act by the Campaign for Survival and Dignity
  2. ^ Ministry of Tribal Affairs
  3. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/article7358626.ece?m=dtp
  4. ^ Sarin, Madhu (5 May 2005). "Scheduled Tribes Bill: A Comment" (PDF). Economic and Political Weekly. 40 (21). Retrieved 26 December 2007.
  5. ^ http://greencleanguide.com/2012/12/16/forest-rights-act-part-1-2/
  6. ^ Legislations on Environment, Forests and Wildlife, from Ministry of Environment and Forests
  7. ^ Prabhu, Pradip (August 2005). "The Right to Live With Dignity". Seminar (552).
  8. ^ "Bad in Law", Madhu Sarin, World Bank website
  9. ^ "Dispossessed and displaced: A brief paper on tribal issues in Orissa", Kundan Kumar, Vasundhara
  10. ^ Gopalakrishnan, Shankar (June–July 2005). "Missing the Woods for the Trees". Combat Law. 4 (4).
  11. ^ The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers Act, 2006 Archived 25 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Environmental legislation", The Statesman, 19 January 2017
  13. ^ Section 3(1) of the Act Archived 25 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Section 3(1) of the Act Archived 25 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Section 3(1) of the Act Archived 25 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Section 3(2) of the Act
  17. ^ Sections 3(1) and 5 of the Act Archived 25 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Sections 2(c) and 2(o) of the Act Archived 25 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ Sections 2(c) and 4(1) of the Act Archived 25 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ Section 2(o) of the Act Archived 25 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ Sections 6(2)-6(6) of the Act Archived 25 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ Section 4(2) of the Act Archived 25 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 May 2009. Retrieved 26 December 2007.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  24. ^ Thapar, Valmik (23 December 2007). "Conflict will go up by 10000 per cent", Daily News and Analysis
  25. ^ "The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act"
  26. ^ Truths and Falsehoods About the Forest Rights Act
  27. ^ Section 4(2) of the Act Archived 25 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ Kothari, Ashish (30 December 2006). "For Lasting Rights". Frontline. 23 (26).
  29. ^ Kothari, Ashish (30 December 2006). "For Lasting Rights". Frontline. 23 (26).
  30. ^ "Understanding the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act"
  31. ^ Sethi, Nitin. "Activists Come Out With Ads to Slam Forest Act", Times of India, 23 October 2007.
  32. ^ Vanashakti.com
  33. ^ Sethi, Nitin. "Activists Come Out With Ads to Slam Forest Act", Times of India, 23 October 2007.
  34. ^ Prasad, Archana (30 December 2006). "Survival at Stake". Frontline. 23 (26).
  35. ^ "Campaign press release (see bottom of the linked page)". Archived from the original on 3 December 2007. Retrieved 26 December 2007.
  36. ^ "Notify Rules of Forest Act, says Brinda Karat", The Hindu, 28 November 2007
  37. ^ Press releases on the Forest Rights Act by the Campaign for Survival and Dignity
  38. ^ Sethi, Nitin and Mukul, Askhaya, (2 January 2008). "Forest Act Notified, Tribals Unhappy". Times of India.
  39. ^ http://forestrightsact.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=14&Itemid=31
  40. ^ "Summary Report on Implementation of the Forest Rights Act, Council for Social Development, as posted on Campaign for Survival and Dignity website". Archived from the original on 9 January 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
Adivasi

Adivasi is the collective term for the indigenous peoples of mainland South Asia. Adivasi make up 8.6% of India's population, or 104 million people, according to the 2011 census, and a large percentage of the Nepalese population. They comprise a substantial indigenous minority of the population of India and Nepal and a minority group of the Sri Lankan society called Vedda. The same term Adivasi is used for the ethnic minorities of Bangladesh and the native Tharu people of Nepal. The word is also used in the same sense in Nepal, as is another word, janajati (Nepali: जनजाति; janajāti), although the political context differed historically under the Shah and Rana dynasties.

Adivasi societies are particularly prominent in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal, and some north-eastern states, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Many smaller tribal groups are quite sensitive to ecological degradation caused by modernisation. Both commercial forestry and intensive agriculture have proved destructive to the forests that had endured swidden agriculture for many centuries. Adivasis in central part of India have been victims of the Salwa Judum campaign by the Government against the Naxalite insurgency.

CAMPA bill

CAMPA Act or Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority bill is an Indian legislation that seeks to provide an appropriate institutional mechanism, both at the Centre and in each State and Union Territory, to ensure expeditious utilization in efficient and transparent manner of amounts released in lieu of forest land diverted for non-forest purpose which would mitigate impact of diversion of such forest land.

Code of Criminal Procedure (India)

The Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC ) is the main legislation on procedure for administration of substantive criminal law in India. It was enacted in 1973 and came into force on 1 April 1974. It provides the machinery for the investigation of crime, apprehension of suspected criminals, collection of evidence, determination of guilt or innocence of the accused person and the determination of punishment of the guilty. Additionally, it also deals with public nuisance, prevention of offences and maintenance of wife, child and parents.

At present, the Act contains 484 Sections, 2 Schedules and 56 Forms. The Sections are divided into 37 Chapters.

Constitution of India

The Constitution of India (IAST: Bhāratīya Saṃvidhāna) is the supreme law of India. The document lays down the framework demarcating fundamental political code, structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of citizens. It is the longest written constitution of any country on earth. B. R. Ambedkar, chairman of the drafting committee, is widely considered to be its chief architect.It imparts constitutional supremacy (not parliamentary supremacy, since it was created by a constituent assembly rather than Parliament) and was adopted by its people with a declaration in its preamble. Parliament cannot override the constitution.

It was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on 26 November 1949 and became effective on 26 January 1950. The constitution replaced the Government of India Act, 1935 as the country's fundamental governing document, and the Dominion of India became the Republic of India. To ensure constitutional autochthony, its framers repealed prior acts of the British parliament in Article 395. India celebrates its constitution on 26 January as Republic Day.The constitution declares India a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic, assuring its citizens justice, equality and liberty, and endeavours to promote fraternity. The original 1950 constitution is preserved in a helium-filled case at the Parliament House in New Delhi. The words "secular" and "socialist" were added to the preamble in 1976 during the emergency.

Indian Penal Code

The Indian Penal Code (IPC) is the official criminal code of India. It is a comprehensive code intended to cover all substantive aspects of criminal law. The code was drafted in 1860 on the recommendations of first law commission of India established in 1834 under the Charter Act of 1833 under the Chairmanship of Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay. It came into force in British India during the early British Raj period in 1862. However, it did not apply automatically in the Princely states, which had their own courts and legal systems until the 1940s. The Code has since been amended several times and is now supplemented by other criminal provisions.

After the partition of the British Indian Empire, the Indian Penal Code was inherited by its successor states, the Dominion of India and the Dominion of Pakistan, where it continues independently as the Pakistan Penal Code. The Ranbir Penal Code (R.P.C) applicable in Jammu and Kashmir is also based on this Code. After the separation of Bangladesh (former East Pakiatan) from Pakistan, the code continued in force there. The Code was also adopted by the British colonial authorities in Colonial Burma, Ceylon (modern Sri Lanka), the Straits Settlements (now part of Malaysia), Singapore and Brunei, and remains the basis of the criminal codes in those countries.

Indian Treasure Trove Act, 1878

Indian Treasure Trove Act, 1876

. (ACT NO. VI OF 1878. 1. ) (12 February 1878). An Act to amend the law relating to treasures found in India.It defines treasure specifically as "anything of any value hidden in the soil" and worth as little as 10 rupees (16 cents; 10 pence).

The finder of such treasure, according to this law, needs to inform the most senior local official of the "nature and amount or approximate value of such treasure and the place where it was found". Also, if the finder fails to hand over the booty to the government, the "share of such treasure ... shall vest in Her Majesty", the Queen of England. It needs to be amended as its irrelevant now as the British left India in 1947 after India gained independence.

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Its parent company POSCO signed a memorandum of understanding in June 2005 with the state government of Odisha to construct a $12 billion steel plant. Various regulatory delays and controversies prevented the company from starting construction. The memorandum expired in June 2011, and as of April 2012, it has not been renewed. Apart from Odisha, POSCO India has project sites in the Karnataka and Maharashtra states.

Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act 1996

The Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 or PESA is a law enacted by the Government of India for ensuring self governance through traditional Gram Sabhas for people living in the Scheduled Areas of India. Scheduled Areas are areas identified by the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution of India. Scheduled Areas are found in ten states of India which have predominant population of tribal communities. The Scheduled Areas, were not covered by the 73rd Constitutional Amendment or Panchayati Raj Act of the Indian Constitution as provided in the Part IX of the Constitution. PESA was enacted on 24 December 1996 to extend the provisions of Part IX of the Constitution to Scheduled Areas, with certain exceptions and modifications. PESA sought to enable the Panchayats at appropriate levels and Gram Sabhas to implement a system of self-governance with respect to a number of issues such as customary resources, minor forest produce, minor minerals, minor water bodies, selection of beneficiaries, sanction of projects, and control over local institutions. PESA is an Act to provide for the extension of the provisions of Part IX of the Constitution relating to the Panchayats and the Scheduled Areas. PESA was viewed as a positive development for tribal communities in Scheduled Areas who had earlier suffered tremendously from engagement with modern development processes and from the operation of both colonial laws and statutes made in independent India. The loss of access to forest, land, and other community resources had increased their vulnerability. Rampant land acquisition and displacement due to development projects had led to large scale distress in tribal communities living in Scheduled Areas. PESA was seen as a panacea for many of these vulnerabilities and sought to introduce a new paradigm of development where the tribal communities in such Scheduled Areas were to decide by themselves the pace and priorities of their development.

Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013

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The Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011 was introduced in Lok Sabha on 7 September 2011. The bill was then passed by it on 29 August 2013 and by Rajya Sabha on 4 September 2013. The bill then received the assent of the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee on 27 September 2013. The Act came into force from 1 January 2014.An amendment bill was then introduced in Parliament to endorse the Ordinance. Lok Sabha passed the bill but the same is still lying for passage by the Rajya Sabha. On 30 May 2015, President of India promulgated the amendment ordinance for third time.

Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary

Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve is a protected area and tiger reserve along the Western Ghats in the Erode District of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. First declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 2008 and enlarged in 2011, it covers a forest area of 1,411.6 km2 (545.0 sq mi) and is the largest wildlife sanctuary in Tamil Nadu. In 2013, it became the fourth tiger reserve as a part of Project Tiger in the state of Tamil Nadu.

Sathyamangalam forest range is a significant wildlife corridor in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve between the Western Ghats and the rest of the Eastern Ghats and a genetic link between the four other protected areas which it adjoins, including the Billigiriranga Swamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, Sigur Plateau, Mudumalai National Park and Bandipur National Park. The sanctuary covers parts of Sathyamangalam taluk and Gobichettipalayam taluk of Erode District in north western Tamil Nadu.

The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013

The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, commonly known as The Lokpal Act, is an anti-corruption Act of Indian Parliament in India which "seeks to provide for the establishment of the institution of Lokpal to inquire into allegations of corruption against certain public functionaries including Prime Minister,ministers,MP,Group A officials of the Central Government and for matters connecting them".The Bill was tabled in the Lok Sabha on 22 December 2011 and was passed by the House on 27 December as The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011. It was subsequently tabled in the Rajya Sabha on 29 December. After a marathon debate that stretched until midnight of the following day, the vote failed to take place for lack of time. On 21 May 2012, it was referred to a Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha for consideration. It was passed in the Rajya Sabha on 17 December 2013 after making certain amendments to the earlier Bill and in the Lok Sabha the next day. It received assent from President Pranab Mukherjee on 1 January 2014 and came into force from 16 January.The Bill was introduced in the parliament following massive public protests led by anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare and his associates. The Bill is one of the most widely discussed and debated Bills in India, both by the media and the People of India at large, in recent times. The protests were named among the "Top 10 News Stories of 2011" by the magazine Time. The bill received worldwide media coverage.In 2011, India ranked 95th in the Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International. A recent survey estimated that corruption in India had cost billions of dollars and threatened to derail growth. India lost a staggering $462 billion in illicit financial flows due to tax evasion, crime and corruption post-Independence, according to a report released by Washington-based Global Financial Integrity.Retired Supreme Court judge Pinaki Chandra Ghose was appointed as the first Lokpal of India by a committee consisting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Loksabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan on 17 march 2019.

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