Court pulls up Gujarat government on tribes recognition delay

Saturday, January 1, 2011

GANDHINAGAR - The Gujarat High Court has pulled up the state government for its inaction in recognising the scheduled tribes living in the forest areas of Gir, Alech and Barda.

The first bench of the court comprising Chief Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya and Justice K.M. Thaker directed the state government to form committees in this regard within a month, according to an order made available Saturday.

The directions came on a Public Interest Litigation filed by Jan Adhikar Manch and others, who raised the issue of governments slack work in implementing its own circulars and in following-up on an Act introduced by the centre for recognition of such tribes.

As per the court’s order, the committee will consist of the sub-district revenue officer, sub-district development officer and the concerned forest range officer. It will verify the applications and issue the certificate to scheduled tribes for their recognition in accordance with the government circular of 1994.

The litigation stated that the state authorities had failed to implement their own circulars and guidelines.

Despite the circular dated Nov 29, 1994, the state has not issued appropriate certificates. The state had to verify the scheduled tribe status of Rabari, Bharwad and Charan communities and others who have migrated from the Gir, Alech and Barda forest areas and grant them the certificate.

The bench noted that the petitioners sought grant of certificate for the persons belonging to Scheduled Tribe community.

Grant of certificate in favour of the Scheduled Tribes is in the interest of the public. Therefore, we are inclined to issue the appropriate directions on the respondents, the bench also noted.

Filed under: Immigration

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