Right to possess land in forests is not limited to Adivasis and other notified forest-dwellers: SC

The Supreme Court (SC) has held that the right to possess land in notified reserved forests is not only limited to Adivasis, notified forest-dwellers or backward communities alone, but also extend to those having legitimate claims over the forest land. SC while pointing out that “these other groups, who do not get recognition under the law as a forest dwelling community due to several socio-political and economic reasons, are also an integral part of the said forest communities and are essential to their functioning,” further, held that even persons not belonging to such notified communities have a right to be heard before they are evicted from the forest land they possess.