21st September, 1927
An Act to consolidate the law relating to forests, the transit of forest-produce and the duty leviable on timber and other forest-produce.
Whereas 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 a follows:
1. Short title and extent. (1) This Act may be called the Indian Forest Act, 1921
1[(2) It extends to the whole of India except the territories which, immediately before the 1st November, 1956, were comprised in Part B States.
(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, Punj Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal; but the Government of any State may by notification in Official Gazette bring this Act into force2 in the whole or any specified part of that State which this Act extends and where it is not in force.]
2. Interpretation clause.- In this Act, unless there is 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 3[***] the State Government or any office empowered by 3[***] the State Government in this behalf, may appoint to carry out all any of the purposes of this Act or to do anything required by this Act or any rule m thereunder to be done by a Forest-officer;
(3) "forest-offence" means an offence punishable under this Actor under any rule made thereunder;
(4) "forest-produce" includes -
(a) the following whether found in, or brought from, a forest or not, that is to say timber, charcoal, caoutchouc, catechu, wood-oil, resin, natural varnish, bark, lac, mahua flowers, mahua seeds,4[kuth] and myrabolams, and
(b) the following when found in, or brought from a forest, that is to say
(i) trees and leaves, flowers and fruits, and all other parts or produce not herein before mentioned, of trees,
(ii) plants not being trees (including grass, creepers, reeds and moss), and all parts or produce of such plants,
(iii) wild animals and skins, tusks, horns, bones, silk, cocoons, honey and wax, and all other 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 quaries);
5[(4A) "ownee" includes a Court of Wards in respect of property under the superintendence or charge of such Court;]
(5) "river" includes any stream, canal, creek or other channels, natural or 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 or not; and
(7) "tree" includes palms, bamboos, skumps, brush-wood and canes.
3. Power to reserve forests.- The 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.
4. Notification by State Government.- (1) Whenever it has been decided to constitute any land a reserved forest, the State Government shall issue a notification in the Official Gazette -
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 the 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.
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 the 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 such land except in accordance with such rules as may be made by the State Government in this behalf.
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
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.
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:
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 prefer-ring such claim within the period fixed under section 6.
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, the 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
(4) All arrangements made under sub-section (3) shall be subject to the previous sanction of the State Government.
(5) The practice of shifting cultivation shall in all cases be deemed a privilege subject to control, restriction and abolition by the State Government.
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 a right 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
(3) For the purpose of so acquiring such land
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.
13. Record to be made by Forest Settlement-officer.- The Forest Settlement officer, when passing any order under section 12, shall record, so far as may be practicable,-
14. Record where he admits claim.- If the Forest Settlement-officer admits in whole or in part any claim under section 12, he shall also record the extent to which the claim is so admitted, specifying the number and description of the cattle which the claimant is from time to time entitled to graze in the forest, the season during which such pasture is permitted, the quantity of timber and other forest produce which he is from time to time authorised to take or receive, and such other particulars as the case may require. He shall also record whether the timber or other forest-produce obtained by the exercise of the rights claimed may be sold or bartered.
15. Exercise of rights admitted.- (1) After making such record the Forest Settlement officer shall, to the best of his ability, having due regard to the maintenance of the reserved forest in respect of which the claim is made, pass such orders as will ensure the continued exercise of the rights so admitted.
(2) For this purpose the Forest Settlement-officer may
16. Commutation of rights.- In case the Forest Settlement-officer finds it impossible having due regard to the maintenance of the reserved forest, to make such settlement under section 15 as shall ensure the continued exercise of the said rights to the extent so admitted, he shall, subject to such rules as the State Government may make in this behalf, commute such rights, by the payment to such persons of a sum of money in lieu thereof, or by the grant of land, or in such other manner as he thinks fit.
17. Appeal from order passed under section 11, section 12, section 15 or section 16.- Any person who has made a claim under this Act, or any Forest-officer or other person generally or specially empowered by the State Government in this behalf, may, within three months from the date of the order passed on such claim by the Forest Settlement-officer under section 11, section 12, section 15 or section 16, present an appeal from such order to such officer of the Revenue Department of rank not lower than that of a Collector, as the State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint to hear appeals from such orders:
Provided that the State Government may establish a Court (hereinafter called the Forest Court) composed of three persons to be appointed by the State Government, and when the Forest Court has been so established, all such appeals shall be presented to it.
18. Appeal under section 17.- (1) Every appeal under section 17 shall be made by petition in writing, and may be delivered to the Forest Settlement-officer, who shall forward it without delay to the authority competent to hear the same.
(2) If the appeal be to an officer appointed under section 17, it shall be heard in the manner prescribed for the time being for the hearing of appeals in matters relating to land-revenue.
(3) If the appeal be to the Forest Court, the Court shall fix a day and a convenient place in the neighbourhood of the proposed forest for hearing the appeal, and shall give notice thereof to the parties, and shall hear such appeal accordingly.
(4) The order passed on the appeal by such officer or Court, or by the majority of the members of such Court, as the case may be, shall, subject only to revision by the State Government, be final.
19. Pleaders.- The State Government, or any person who has made a claim under this Act, may appoint any person to appear, plead and act on its or his behalf before the Forest Settlement-officer, or the appellate officer or Court, in the course of any inquiry or appeal under this Act.
20. Notification declaring forest reserved.- (1) When the following events have occurred, namely:-
the State Government shall publish a notification in the Official Gazette, specifying definitely, according to boundary-marks erected or otherwise, the limits of the forest which is to be reserved, and declaring the same to be reserved from a date fixed by the notification.
(2) From the date so fixed such forest shall be deemed to be a reserved forest.
21. Publication of translation of such notification in neighbourhood of forest.- The Forest-officer shall, before the date fixed by such notification, cause a translation thereof into the local vernacular to be published in every town and village in the neighbourhood of the forest.
22. Power to revise arrangement made under section 15 or section 18- The State Government may, within five years from the publication of any notification under section 20, revise any arrangement made under section 15 or section 18, and may for this purpose rescind or modify any order made under section 15 or section 18, and direct that any one of the proceedings specified in section 15 be taken in lieu of any other of such proceedings, or that the rights admitted under section 12 be commuted under section 16.
23. No right acquired over reserved forest, except as here provided.- No right of any description shall be acquired in or over a reserved forest except by succession or under a grant or contract in writing made by or on behalf of the Government or some person in whom such right was vested when the notification under section 20 was issued.
24. Rights not to be alienated without sanction.- (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in section 23, no right continued under clause (c) of sub-section (2) of section 15 shall be alienated by way of grant, sale, lease mortgage or otherwise, without the sanction of the State Government:
Provided that, when any such right is appendant to any land or house, it may be sold or otherwise alienated with such land or house.
(2) No timber or other forest-produce obtained in exercise of any such right shall be sold or bartered except to such extent as may have been admitted in the order recorded under section 14.
25. Power to stop ways and water-courses in reserved forests.- The Forest-officer may, with the previous sanction of the State Government or of any officer duly authorised by it in this behalf, stop any public or private way or water-course in a reserved forest, provided that a substitute for the way or water-course so stopped, which the State Government deems to be reasonably convenient, already exists, or has been provided or constructed by the Forest-officer in lieu thereof.
26. Acts prohibited in such forests.- (1) Any person who -
or who, in a reserved forest-
shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both, in addition to such compensation for damage done to the forest as the convicting Court may direct to be paid.
(2) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prohibit
(3) Whenever fire is caused wilfully or by gross negligence in a reserved forest, the State Government may (notwithstanding that any penalty has been inflicted under this section) direct that in such forest or any portion there of the exercise of all rights of pasture or to forest produce shall be suspended for such period as it thinks fit.
27. Power to declare forest no longer reserved.- (1) The State Government may, 6[* * *] by notification in the Official Gazette, direct that, from a date fixed by such notification, any forest or any portion thereof reserved under the Act shall cease to be a reserved forest.
(2) From the date so fixed, such forest or portion shall cease to be reserved; but the rights (if any) which have been extinguished therein shall not revive in consequence of such cessation.
28. Formation of village-forests.-
29. Protected forests.-
Provided that, if, in the case of any forest-land or waste land, the State Government thinks that such inquiry and record are necessary, but that they will occupy such length of time as in the meantime to endanger the rights of Government, the State Government may, pending such inquiry and record, declare such land to be a protected forest, but so as not to abridge or affect any existing rights of individuals or communities.
30. Power to issue notification reserving trees, etc.- The State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette,
31. Publication of translation of such notification in neighbourhood.- The Collector shall cause a translation into the local vernacular of every notification issued under section 30 to be affixed in a conspicuous place in every town and village in the neighbourhood of the forest comprised in the notification.
32. Power to make rules for protected forests.- The State Government may make rules to regulate the following matters, namely:
33. Penalties for acts in contravention of notification under section 30 or of rules under section 32.- (1) Any person who commits any of the following offences, namely:-
shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both.
(2) Whenever fire is caused wilfully or by gross negligence in a protected forest, the State Government may, notwithstanding that any penalty has been inflicted under this section, direct that in such forest or any portion thereof the exercise of any right of pasture or to forest-produce shall be suspended for such period as it thinks fit.
34. Nothing in this Chapter to prohibit acts done in certain cases.- Nothing in this Chapter shall be deemed to prohibit any act done with the permission in writing of the Forest-officer, or in accordance with rules made under section 32, or, except as regards any portion of a forest closed under section 30, or as regards any rights the exercise of which has been suspended under section 33, in the exercise of any right recorded under section 29.
35. Protection of forests for special purposes.- (1) The State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, regulate or prohibit in any forest or waste-land
when such regulation or prohibition appears necessary for any of the following purposes:-
(2) The State Government may, for any such purpose, construct at its own expense, in or upon any forest or waste-land, such work as it thinks fit.
(3) No notification shall be made under sub-section (1) nor shall any work be begun under sub-section (2), until after the issue of a notice to the owner of such forest or land calling on him to show cause, within a reasonable period to be specified in such notice, why such notification should not be made or work constructed, as the case may be, and until his objections, if any, and any evidence he may produce in support of the same, have been heard by an officer duly appointed in that behalf and have been considered by the State Government.
36. Power to assume management of forests.- (1) In case of neglect of, or wilful disobedience to, any regulation or prohibition under section 35, or if the purposes of any work to be-constructed under that section so require, the State Government may, after notice in writing to the owner of such forest or land and after considering his objections, if any, place the same under the control of a Forest-officer, and may declare that all or any of the provisions of this Act relating to reserved forests shall apply to such forest or land.
(2) The net profits, if any, arising from the management of such forest or land shall be paid to the said owner.
37. Expropriation of forests in certain cases.- (1) In any case under this Chapter in which the State Government considers that, in lieu of placing the forest or land under the control of a Forest-Officer, the same should be acquired for public purposes, the State 3overnment may proceed to acquire it in the manner provided by the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (1 of 1894).
(2) The owner of any forest or land comprised in any notification under section 35 may, t any time not less than three or more than twelve years from the date thereof, require that such forest or land shall be acquired for public purposes, and the State Government shall require such forest or land accordingly.
38. Protection of forests at request of owners.- (1) The owner of any land or, if there more than one owner thereof, the owners of shares therein amounting in the aggregate at least two-thirds thereof may, with a view to the formation or conservation of forests thereon, represent in writing to the Collector their desire
(2) In either case,-the State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, apply to such land such provisions of this Act as it thinks suitable to the circumstances thereof and as may be desired by the applicants.
39. Power to impose duty on timber and other forest-produce.- (1) The 7[Central Government] may levy a duty in such manner, at such places and at such rates as it may declare by notification in the Official Gazette on all timber or other forest-produce
9[* * *]
(2) In every case in which such duty is directed to be levied ad valorem the 7[Central Government] may fix by like notification the value on which such duty shall be assessed.
(3) All duties on timber or other forest-produce which, at the time when this Act comes into force in any territory, are levied therein under the authority of the State Government, shall be deemed to be and to have been duty levied under the provisions of this Act.
10[(4) Notwithstanding anything in this section, the State Government may, until provision to the contrary is made by 11[Parliament], continue to levy any duty which it was lawfully levying before the commencement12 of 13[the Constitution], under this section as then in force:
Provided that nothing in this sub-section authorises the levy of any duty which as between timber or other forest-produce of the State and similar produce of the locality outside the State, discriminates in favour of the former, or which, in the case of timber or other forest-produce of localities outside the State, discriminates between timber or other forest-produce of one locality and similar timber or other forest-produce of another locality.]
40. Limit not to apply to purchase-money or royalty.- Nothing in this Chapter shall be deemed to limit the amount, if any, chargeable as purchase-money or royalty on any timber or other forest-produce, although the same is levied on such timber or produce while in transit, in the same manner as duty is levied.
41. Power to make rules to regulate transit of forest produce.- (1) The control of all rivers and their banks as regards the floating of timber, as well as the control of all timber and other forest-produce in transit by land or water, is vested in the State Government, and it may make rules to regulate the transit of all timber and other forest-produce.
(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power such rules may
(3) The State Government may direct that any rule made under this section shi-11 not apply to any specified class of timber or other forest-produce or to any specified local area.
15[ 41A. Powers of Central Government as to movements of timber across customs frontiers.-Notwithstanding anything in section 41, the Central Government may make rules to prescribe the route by which alone timber or other forest-produce may be imported, exported or moved into or from 16[the territories to which this Act extends) across any customs frontier as defined by the Central Government, and any rules made under section 41 shall have effect subject to the rules made under this section.]
42. Penalty for breach of rules made under section 41.- (1) The State Government may by such rules prescribe as penalties for the contravention thereof imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or both.
(2) Such rules may provide that penalties which are double of those mentioned in subsection (1) may be inflicted in cases where the offence is committed after sunset and before sunrise, or after preparation for resistance to lawful authority, or where the offender has been previously convicted of a like offence.
43. Government and Forest-officers not liable for damage to forest-produce at depot.- The Government shall not be responsible for any loss or damage which may occur in respect of any timber or other forest-produce while at a depot established under a rule made under section 41, or while detained elsewhere, for the purposes of this Act; and no Forest-officer shall be responsible for any such loss or damage, unless he causes such loss or damage negligently, maliciously or fraudulently.
44. All persons bound to aid in case of accidents at depot.- In case of any accident or emergency involving danger to any property at any such depot, every person employed at such depot, whether by the Government or by any private person, shall render assistance to any Forest-officer or Police-officer demanding his aid in averting such danger or securing such property from damage or loss.
45. Certain kinds of timber to be deemed property of Government until title thereto proved, and may be collected accordingly.- (1) All timber found adrift, beached, stranded or sunk;
all wood or timber bearing marks which have not been registered in accordance with the rules made under section 41, or on which the marks have been obliterated, altered or defaced by fire or otherwise; and
in such areas as the State Government directs, all unmarked wood and timber,
shall be deemed to be the property of Government, unless and until any person establishes his right and title thereto, as provided in this Chapter.
(2) Such timber may be collected by any Forest-officer or other person entitled to collect the same by virtue of any rule made under section 51 and may be brought to any depot which the Forest-officer may notify as a depot for the reception of drift timber.
(3) The State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, 6xempt any class of timber from the provisions of this section.
46. Notice to claimants of drift timber.- Public notice shall from time to time be given by the Forest-officer, of timber collected under section 45. Such notice shall contain a description of the timber, and shall require any person claiming the same to present to such officer, within a period not less than two months from the date of such notice, a written statement of such claim.
47. Procedure on claim preferred to such timber.-
48. Disposal of unclaimed timber.- If no such statement is presented as aforesaid, if the claimant omits to prefer his claim in the manner and within the period fixed by the notice issued under section 46, or on such claim having been so preferred by him and having been rejected, omits to institute a suit to recover possession of such timber within the further period fixed by section 47, the ownership of such timber shall vest in the Government, or, when such timber has been delivered to another person under section 47, in such other person free from all encumbrances not created by him.
49. Government and its officers not liable for damage to such timber.- TN Government shall not be responsible for any loss or damage which may occur in respect any timber collected under section 45, and no Forest-officer shall be responsible for any such loss or damage, unless he causes such loss or damage negligently, maliciously fraudulently,
50. Payments to be made by claimant before timber is delivered to him.- No person shall be entitled to recover possession of any timber collected or delivered as aforesaid until he has paid to the Forest-officer or other person entitled to receive it such sum on account thereof as may be due under any rule made under section 51.
51. Power to make rules and prescribe penalties.- (1) The State Government in make rules to regulate the following matters, namely:
(2) The State Government may prescribe, as penalties for the contravention of any rule made under this section, imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or both.
52. Seizure of property liable to confiscation.-
Provided that, when the forest-produce with respect to which such offence is belie to have been committed is the property of Government, and the offender is unknown, it shall be sufficient if the officer makes, as soon as may be, a report of the circumstances to his official superior.
53. Power to release property seized under section 52.- Any Forest-officer of a rank not inferior to that of a Ranger who, or whose subordinate, has seized any tools, boats, carts or cattle under section 52, may release the same on the execution by the owner thereof a bond for the production of the property so released, if and when so required, before the Magistrate having jurisdiction to try the offence on account of which the seizure has been made.
54. Procedure thereupon.- Upon the receipt of any such report, the Magistrate shall, with all convenient despatch, take such measures as may be necessary for the arrest and trial of the offender and the disposal of the property according to law.
55. Forest-produce, tools, etc., when liable to confiscation.-(1) All timber or forest produce which is not the property of Government and in respect of which a forest-offence has been committed, and all tools, boats, carts and cattle used in committing any forest offence, shall be liable to confiscation.
(2) Such confiscation may be in addition to any other punishment prescribed for such offence.
56. Disposal on conclusion of trial for forest-offence, of produce in respect of which it was committed.-When the trial of any forest-offence is concluded, any forest-produce in respect of which such offence has been committed shall, if it is the property of Government or has been confiscated, be taken charge of by a Forest-officer, and, in any other case, may be disposed of in such manner as the Court may direct.
57. Procedure when offender not known or cannot be found.- When the offender is not known or cannot be found, the Magistrate may, if he finds that an offence has been committed, order the property in respect of which the offence has been committed to be confiscated and taken charge of by the Forest-officer, or to be made over to the person whom the Magistrate deems to be entitled to the same:
Provided that no such order shall be made until the expiration of one month from d date of seizing such property, or without hearing the person, if any, claiming any rig thereto, and the evidence, if any, which he may produce in support of his claim.
58. Procedure as to perishable property siezed under section 52.- The Magistrate may, notwithstanding anything hereinbefore contained, direct the sale of any property seized under section 52 and subject to speedy and natural decay, and may deal with the proceeds as he would have dealt with such property if it had not been sold.
59. Appeal from orders under section 55, section 56 or section 57.- The officer made the seizure under section 52, or any of his official superiors, or any person claim to be interested in the property so seized, may, within one month from the date of any order passed under section 55, section 56 or section 57, appeal therefrom to the Court to will orders made by such Magistrate are ordinarily appealable, and the order passed on A appeal shall be final.
60. Property when to vest in Government.- When an order for the confiscation any property has been passed under section 55 or section 57, as the case may be, and the period limited by section 59 for an appeal from such order has elapsed, and no such an apppeal has been preferred, or when, on such an appeal being preferred, the Appellate C4 confirms such order in respect of the whole or a portion of such property, such property or such portion thereof, as the case may be, shall vest in the Government free from all incumbrances.
61. Saving of power to release property seized.- Nothing hereinbefore contained shall be deemed to prevent any officer empowered in this behalf by the State Government, from directing at any time the immediate release of any property seized under section 52.
62. Punishment for wrongful seizure.- Any Forest-officer or Police-officer who vexatiously and unnecessarily seizes any property on pretence of seizing property liable confiscation under this Act shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both.
63. Penalty for counterfeiting or defacing marks on trees and timber and for altering boundary marks.- Whoever, with intent to cause damage or injury to the public or to any person, or to cause wrongful gain as defined in the Indian Penal Code-
shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or fine, or with both.
64. Power to arrest without warrant.-
65. Power to release on a bond a person arrested.- Any Forest-officer of a rank not inferior to that of a Ranger, who, or whose subordinate, has arrested any person under the provisions of section 64, may release such person on his executing a bond to appear, if and when so required, before the Magistrate having jurisdiction in the case, or before the officer in charge of the nearest police station.
66. Power to prevent commission of offence.- Every Forest-officer and Police officer shall prevent, and may interfere for the purpose of preventing, the commission of any forest-offence.
67. Power to try offences summarily.- The District Magistrate or any Magistrate of the first class specially empowered in this behalf by the State Government may try summarily, under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, any forest-offence punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or fine not exceeding five hundred rupees, or both.
68. Power to compound offences.- (1) The State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, empower a Forest officer-
(2) On the payment of such sum of money, or such value, or both, as the case may be, to such officer, the suspected person, if in custody, shall be discharged, the property, if any seized shall be released, and no further proceedings shall be taken against such person or property.
(3) A Forest-officer shall not be empowered under this section unless he is a Forest officer of a rank not inferior to that of a Ranger and is in receipt of a monthly salary amounting to at least one hundred rupees, and the sum of money accepted as compensation under clause (a) of sub-section (1) shall in no case exceed the sum of fifty rupees.
69. Presumption that forest-produce belongs to Government.- When in any proceedings taken under this Act, or in consequence of anything done under this Act, a question arises as to whether any forest-produce is the property of the Government, such produce shall be presumed to be the property of the Government until the contrary is proved.
70. Cattle-trespass Act, 1871, to apply.- Cattle trespassing in a reserved forest any portion of a protected forest which has been lawfully closed to grazing shall be deem to be cattle doing damages to a public plantation within the meaning of section II of Cattle-trespass Act, 1871 (1 of 1871), and may be seized and impounded as such by Forest-officer or Police-officer.
71. Power to alter fines fixed under that Act.- The State Government may, notification in the Official Gazette, direct that, in lieu of the fines fixed under section I the Cattle-trespass Act, 1871 (1 of 1871), there shall be levied for each head of cattle impounded under section 70 of this Act such fines as it thinks fit, but not exceeding following, that is to say:-
For each elephant ten rupees
For each buffalo or camel two rupees
For each horse, mare, gelding, pony, colt, filly, mule, bull, bullock, cow, or heifer one rupee
For each calf, ass, pig, ram, ewe, sheep, lamb, goat or kid eight annas
72. State Government may invest Forest-officers with certain powers.- (1) The State Government may invest any Forest-officer with all or of the following powers, that is to say:-
(2) Any evidence recorded under clause (d) of sub-section (1) shall be admissible in subsequent trial before a Magistrate, provided that it has been taken in the presence of accused person.
73. Forest officers deemed public servants.- All Forest-officers shall be deemed be public servants within the meaning of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (45 of 1860).
74. Indemnity for acts done in good faith.- No suit shall lie against any public servant for anything done by him in good faith under this Act.
75. Forest-officers not to trade.- Except with the permission in writing of the State Government, no Forest-officer shall, as principal or agent, trade in timber or other forest produce, or be or become interested in any lease of any forest or in any contract for working any forest, whether in or outside 17[the territories to which this Act extends].
76. Additional powers to make rules.- The State Government may make rules
77. Penalties for breach of rules.- Any person contravening any rule under this Act, for the contravention of which no special penalty is provided, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month, or fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or both.
78. Rules when to have force of law.- All rules made by the State Government under this Act shall be published in the Official Gazette, and shall thereupon, so far as they are consistent with this Act, have effect as if enacted therein.
79. Persons bound to assist Forest-officers and Police-officers.- (1) Every person who exercises any right in a reserved or protected forest, or who is permitted to take any forest-produce from, or to cut and remove timber or to pasture cattle in, such forest, and every person who is employed by any such person in such forest, and every person in any village contiguous to such forest who is employed by the Government or who receives emoluments from the Government for services to be performed to the community, shall be bound to furnish without unnecessary delay to the nearest Forest-officer or Police officer any information he may possess respecting the commission of, or intention to commit, any forest-offence, and shall forthwith take steps, whether so required by any Forest-officer or Police officer or not,-
and shall assist any Forest-officer or Police-officer demanding his aid
(2) Any person who, being bound so to do, without lawful excuse (the burden ofprovin which shall lie upon such person) fails-
shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which extend to one month, or with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees, or with both.
80. Management of forests the joint property of Government and other persons.- (1) If the Government and any person be jointly interested in any forest or waste-land, a in the whole or any part of the produce thereof, the State Government may either-
(2) When the State Government undertakes under clause (a) of sub-section (1) the management of any forest, waste-land or produce, it may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare that any of the provisions contained in Chapters 11 and IV shall apply to such forest, waste-land or produce, and thereupon such provisions shall apply accordingly.
81. Failure to perform service for which a share in produce of Government forest is employed.- If any person be entitled to a share in the produce of any forest which is the property of Government or over which the Government has proprietary rights or to any part of the forest-produce of which the Government is entitled upon the condition of duly performing any service connected with such forest, such share shall be liable to confiscation in the event of the fact being established to the satisfaction of the State Government that such service is no longer so performed:
Provided that no such share be confiscated until the person entitled thereto, and the evidence, if any, which he may produce in proof of the due performance of such service, have been heard by an officer duly appointed in that behalf by the State Government.
82. Recovery of money due to Government.- All money payable to the Government under this Act, or under any rule made under this Act, or on account of the price of any forest produce, or of expenses incurred in the execution of this Act in respect of such produce, may, if not paid when due, be recovered under the law for the time being in force as if it were an arrear of land-revenue.
83. Lien on forest-produce for such money.-(1) When any such money is payable for or in respect of any forest-produce, the amount thereof shall deemed to be a first charge on such produce, and such produce may be taken possession of by a Forest-officer until such amount has been paid.
(2) If such amount is not paid when due, the Forest-officer may sell such produce by public auction, and the proceeds of the sale shall be applied first in discharging such amount.
(3) The surplus, if any, if not claimed within two months from the date of the sale by the person entitled thereto, shall be forfeited to Government.
84. Land required under this Act to be deemed to be needed for a public purpose under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894.- Whenever it appears to the State Government that any land is required for any of the purposes of this Act, such land shall be deemed to be needed for a public purpose within the meaning of section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (1 of 1894).
85. Recovery of penalties due under bond.- When any person, in accordance with any provision of this Act, or in compliance with any rule made thereunder, binds himself by any an bond or instrument to perform any duty or act or covenants by any bond or instrument that he, or that he and his servants and agents will abstain from any act, the whole sum mentioned in such bond or instrument as the amount to be paid in case of a breach of the conditions thereof may, notwithstanding anything in section 74 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 (9 of 1872), be recovered from him in case of such breach as if it were an arrear of land revenue.
18[ 85A. Saving for rights of Central Government.- Nothing in this Act shall authorise a Government of any State to make any order or do anything in relation to any property not vested in that State or otherwise prejudice any rights of the Central Government or the Government of any other State without the consent of the Government concerned.]
86. Repeals.- [Rep. by Repealing and Amending Act, 1947 (2 of 1948), sec.2 and Sch.]
THE SCHEDULE.-[Enactments Repealed.] Rep. by sec.2 and Sch., ibid.