Guidelines on the Scheduled Tribes and Traditional Forest Dwellers Act, 2006
The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 seeks to recognize 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. The Act was notified for operation with effect from 31.12.2007 and the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Rules, 2008 for implementing the provisions of the Act were notified on 1.1.2008.
Over a period of last four years of implementation of the Act, some problems impeding the implementation of the Act in its letter and spirit have come to the notice of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, such as, convening of Gram Sabha meetings at the Panchayat level resulting in exclusion of smaller habitations not formally part of any village; non-recognition of un-hindered rights over the minor forest produce (MFP) to forest dwellers; non-recognition of other community rights; harassment and eviction of forest dwellers without settlement of their forest rights; rejection of claims by insisting on certain types of evidences, inadequate awareness about the provisions of the Act and the Rules etc.
In order to address the above concerns and with a view to ensure effective implementation of the Act, the following guidelines are issued on various aspects of implementation of the Act for compliance by all the State Governments/UT Administration