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NEW DELHI, Jul. 24, 2023 (TBINN)

As Lok Sabha prepares for a crucial vote on the Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill 2023 during ongoing Monsoon Session, environmentalists, activists and other stake-holders across the Himalayas are sounding an alarm over the potential ramifications of the Bill in its current form.

Key amendments proposed to The Forest (Conservation) Act (F.C.A.), 1980 include adding a preamble, renaming the Act to ‘Van (Sanrakshan Evam Samvardhan) Adhiniyam’, limiting its applicability to lands recorded as forest in government records and exempting certain categories of land from its purview.

Conservationists argue that limiting the applicability of F.C.A. to land recorded as forest in government records would effectively invalidate the Supreme Court’s 1996’s judgment in the T.N. Godavarman Case, which said the Act was applicable to land covered under the “dictionary meaning of forests” or “deemed forests” (forests not officially recorded as forests).

May be an image of tree and text that says "EST CONSERVAT ACT 1980"

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