HC issues interim order to stay GO140 of tribal welfare dept until further orders

Justice Bollam Vijaysen Reddy further stayed the meetings of the district coordination committee of the tribal welfare department for the disposal of claims over the rights on podu cultivation in the forest lands until further orders.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  24 Sep 2022 3:30 AM GMT
HC issues interim order to stay GO140 of tribal welfare dept until further orders

Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court Single Bench headed by Justice Bollam Vijaysen Reddy heard two writ petitions on Friday—one filed by Madi Saibabu and three others from Mulugu district and the other filed by Tejavath Shankar, a farmer from Bhadradri-Kothagudem district and two others, questioning the unreasonable and discriminatory action of the government in issuing an impugned GO No 140, tribal welfare (services-II) department, dated 11 September 2022 for the constitution of district coordination committees for lands under Podu cultivation.

Justice Bollam Vijaysen Reddy further stayed the meetings of the district coordination committee of the tribal welfare department for the disposal of claims over the rights on podu cultivation in the forest lands until further orders.

Counsels for the petitioners, Ch. Ravi Kumar and Prabhakar Chikkudu, vehemently argued before the court and submitted that the constitution of the district coordination committee by way of the GO is illegal and unconstitutional.

They further submitted that the cultivation rights are dealt by the Forest Rights Act 2007 which is a Central Act and the state does not have power to constitute a new super committee which is against the act and its rules there under.

They further submitted that the state has brought the impugned committee with a malafide intention to supersede the state-level committee. It's a fact that already there are subdivisional committees, district-level committees, and state-level committees in accordance with rules of the Act, they added.

Special government pleader Andapally Sanjeev Kumar submitted redundant submissions before the court that the intention of the state is to prevent further encroachment over the forest lands only and it has nothing to do with the disposal of claims on podu cultivation rights.

Justice Bollam Vijaysen Reddy observed that prima facie, the court is of the view that there is confusion in the GO which is under challenge. Further, he said let there be clarity in the GO. The government may come with a new GO, Justice Bollam opined.

Hearing all the contentions of the petitioners' counsels and special GP, Justice Bollam Vijaysen Reddy passed the interim direction suspending GO140 issued by the tribal welfare department and further directed not to conduct district coordination committee meetings until further orders.

For further hearing, the matter was posted to 21 October 2022.

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