BHIM DUTT PANDEY Vs. STATE OF UTTARAKHAND AND ANR.
HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND
Bhim Dutt Pandey
State of Uttarakhand and Anr.
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Sudhanshu Dhulia, J. -
(1.) THE petitioner claims that in his Bhoomidhari land, there were certain trees which have fallen and are presently lying on the land of the petitioner. Consequently, the petitioner moved an application before the Sub -Divisional Magistrate, Tanakpur, who forwarded the report to the Divisional Forest Officer that the trees are on the land of the petitioner and in possession of the petitioner. Thereafter, the petitioner sought permission under section 5 of the Uttar Pradesh Protection of Trees in Rural and Hill Areas Act, 1976 from the Divisional Forest Officer, Champawat to remove those trees situated on his land. The Divisional Forest Officer did not permit him to lift and transfer the trees. Consequently, the petitioner filed a writ petition, but this Court did not interfere in the matter and dismissed the writ petition of the petitioner. Thereafter, the petitioner deposited a sum of Rs. 15,000/ - on 2.3.2012 as penalty/fine imposed by the Forest Department. Thereafter, the petitioner moved an application under the Uttar Pradesh Protection of Trees in Rural and Hill Areas Act, 1976 before the Divisional Forest Officer, who has refused to give permission to the petitioner to remove the trees, as he has not proved about his ownership over the land on which the trees have been fallen. Thereafter, the petitioner moved an application before the Sub -Divisional Magistrate, who recommended the matter to Division Forest Officer with the report that the land belongs to the petitioner and other co -owner of the land have no objection, yet he has not been allowed to remove such trees from his land. Hence, this writ petition.
(2.) FROM the perusal of sub -section (4) of section 6 of the Uttar Pradesh Protection of Trees in Rural and Hill Areas Act, 1976 wherein it has clearly provided that a person aggrieved by any decision of the competent authority, which in the present case is Divisional Forest Officer, the petitioner may move a representation before the Revising Authority. Section 6(4) of the Uttar Pradesh Protection of Trees in Rural and Hill Areas Act, 1976 reads as under:
6. Procedure for obtaining permission to fell or remove trees. - -
(4) Any person aggrieved from the decision of the competent authority under sub -section (2) may make a representation within thirty days from the date of such decision, to the Revision Authority and his decision on such representation shall be final.
In view of the above provision of law provided in the above Act, purely in the interest of justice, since it has already been provided in the above section 6 of the Uttar Pradesh Protection of Trees in Rural and Hill Areas Act, 1976, the petitioner is at liberty to make the representation before the Revising Authority against the order of the Divisional Forest Officer within a period of six weeks from today. It is made clear that the said Authority shall look into all the aspects of the matter as the petitioner is alleging harassment by the hands of the Forest authorities. The concerned Authority shall pass appropriate order, in accordance with law, but definitely within a period of one month from the date of production of a certified copy of this order. While doing so, the Authority shall also take into consideration the report of the Sub -Divisional Magistrate, as well as other reports. With the aforesaid observation, the writ petition is disposed of. No order as to costs.;
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