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State govt has jurisdiction to declare any land as protected forest if it has proprietary rights: SC

The apex court said the High Court had referred to the objections filed by the lessees under the Consolidation Act and also objections by the Forest Department.

October 05, 2021 / 10:54 PM IST

A State government has the jurisdiction to declare any land as protected forest if the State has proprietary rights over such land, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday.

A bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and V Ramasubramanian said in terms of Section 4 of the Forest Act, the State Government can issue a notification to constitute any land as reserved forest.

The State Government has the jurisdiction to declare a protected forest if the land is the property of the Government over which proprietary rights are exercised, the bench said while setting aside the order granting ownership of land to a lessee.

The top court was hearing an appeal filed by the UP forest department challenging a judgement passed by the Allahabad high court which had set aside the order passed by the Deputy Director of Consolidation, Lucknow, wherein, the revenue entry of Khasra Nos. 1576 and 1738 were ordered to be corrected in the name of the Department of Forest and the claim of rival claimants were set aside.