The forest act, 1927 (act no. XVI of 1927)




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(ii) guarantee participants an equitable share of proceeds in return for labour invested;
(iii) in the case of agreements contemplating timber harvest, require the duration of agreements to include the expected principal harvest;
(iv) allow transfer of benefits and obligations under agreements between spouses, and, when a participant dies, under the laws of succession to his heir, and govern other transfers;
(v) allow creation and dissolution of management committees representing participants in particular programmes, and empower the management committees to impose fine on participants for violation of agreement; and
(vi) allow persons to petition the Government for 'undertaking' social forestry programme.
(5) The Government may make rules to set out other requirements or guarantees for agreements, including
(i) duties of participants to assist forest officers; and
(ii) any other matter concerning formation or operation of social forestry programmes.
(6) Rules made under this section may recognize different classes of social forestry programmes, and the Government may make different rules for different classes or programmes.
(7) The Government may publish guidelines and forms for social forestry agreements.

Effect of other of law on social forestry

28B. (1) For the purposes of section 26 and 34, the exercise of any right granted by a social forestry agreement under section 28A shall be considered to be done with permission in writing of the Forest-Officer.
(2) Section 80 shall not apply to private lands subject to a voluntary written agreement under section 28A, unless such agreement itself allows the Government to invoke all or part of section 80.
(3) Section 81 shall not apply to participants in social forestry projects under section 28A.]

CHAPTER IV


OF PROTECTED FORESTS

Protected forests 29. (1) The Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, declare the provisions of this Chapter applicable to any forest-land or waste-land which is not included in a reserved forest, but which is the property of Government, or over which the Government has proprietary rights, or to the whole or any part of the forest -produce of which the Government is entitled.


(2) The forest-land and waste-lands comprised in any such notification shall be called a "protected forest".
(3) No such notification shall be made unless the nature and extent of the rights of Government and of private persons in or over the forest-land or waste-land 21[ or charland] comprised therein have been inquired into and recorded at a survey or settlement, or in such other manner as the Government thinks sufficient. Every such record shall be presumed to be correct until the contrary is proved:
Provided that, if, in the case of any forest-land or waste-land, 22[ or charland] the Government thinks that such inquiry and record are necessary, but that they will occupy such length of time as in the meantime to endanger the rights of Government, the Government may, pending such inquiry and record, declare such land to be a protected forest, but so as not to abridge or affect any existing rights of individuals or communities.
Power to issue notification reserving trees, etc

30. The Government may, by notification in the official Gazette,-


(a) declare any trees or class of trees in a protected forest to be reserved from a date fixed by the notification;
(b) declare that any portion of such forest specified in the notification shall be closed for such term, not exceeding thirty years, as the Government thinks fit, and that the rights of private persons, if any, over such portion shall be suspended during such term, provided that the remainder of such forest be sufficient, and in locality reasonably convenient, for the due exercise of the rights suspended in the portion so closed; or
(c) prohibit, from a date fixed as aforesaid, the quarrying of stone, or the burning of lime or charcoal, or the collection or subjection to any manufacturing process, or removal of, any forest-produce in any such forest, and the 23[ breaking up, clearing or use] for cultivation, for building, for herding cattle or for any other purpose, of any land in any such forest.

Publication of translation of such notification in neighbourhood

31. The Collector shall cause a translation into 24[ Bengali] of every notification issued under section 30 to be affixed in a conspicuous place in every town and village in the neighbourhood of the forest comprised in the notification.

Power to make rules for protected forests

32. The Government may make rules to regulate the following matters, namely:-
(a) the cutting, sawing, conversion and removal of trees and timber, and the collection, manufacture and removal of forest-produce, from protected forests;
(b) the grating of licences to the inhabitants of towns and villages in the vicinity of protected forests to take trees, timber or other forest-produce for their own use, and the production and return of such licences by such persons;
(c) the granting of licences to persons felling or removing trees or timber or other forest-produce from such forests for the purposes of trade, and the production and return of such licences by such persons;
(d) the payments, if any, to be made by the persons mentioned in clauses (b) and (c) for permission to cut such trees, or to collect and remove such timber or other forest-produce;
(e) the other payments, if any, to be made by them in respect of such trees, timber and produce, and the places where such payment shall be made;
(f) the examination of forest-produce passing out of such forests;
(g) the clearing and breaking up of land for cultivation or other purposes in such forests;
(h) the protection from fire of timber lying in such forests and of trees reserved under section 30;
(i) the cutting of grass and pasturing of cattle in such forests;
(j) hunting, shooting, fishing, poisoning water and setting traps or snares in such forests, 25[ * * *];
(k) the protection and management of any portion of a forest closed under section 30; and
(l) the exercise of rights referred to in section 29.

Penalties for acts in contravention of 26[ section 28A or of] notification under section 30 or of rules under section 32

33. 27[ (1) Any person who commits any of the following offences, namely:-
(a) contrary to any prohibition under section 30, quarries any stone, or burns any lime or charcoal,
or collects, subjects to any manufacturing process, or removes any forest produce other than timber;
(b) leaves burning any fire kindled by him in the vicinity of any protected forest;
(c) causes any damage by negligence in felling any tree or cutting or dragging any timber;
(d) trespasses or pastures cattle, or permits cattle to trespass;
(e) enters a protected forest with fire arms without prior permission from the Divisional Forest Officer concerned;
(f) infringes any rule made under section 32 28[ ;]
29[ (g) any offence or damage committed against social forestry programme will be deemed as an offense,]
shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to two thousand Taka, in addition such compensation for damage done to the forest as the convicting court may direct to be paid.
(1A) Any person who commits any of the following offences, namely:
(a) sets fire to a protected forest or, in contravention of any rules made by the Government in this behalf, kindles any fire, or leaves any fire burning, in such manner as to endanger such a forest;
(b) fells, girdles, lops, taps or burns any tree reserved under section 30, or strips off the bark or leaves from, or otherwise damages, any such tree;
(c) contrary to any prohibition under section 30, clears or breaks up any land for cultivation or other purpose 30[ or cultivates or attempts to cultivate any land in any other manner] in the protected forest;
(d) in contravention of any rules made in this behalf by the Government, hunts, shoots, sets traps or snares or catches or kills any wild animals and birds, fishes or poisons water;
(e) establishes saw-pits or saw-benches or converts tree into timber without lawful authority in a protected forest;
(f) removes any timber from a protected forest;
shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years and shall not be less than six months and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to fifty thousand Taka and shall not be less than five thousand Taka, in addition such compensation for damages done to the forest as the convicting Court may direct to be paid.]
(2) Whenever fire is caused wilfully or by gross negligence in a protected forest, the Government may, not withstanding that any penalty has been inflicted under this section, direct that in such forest or any portion thereof the exercise of any right of pasture or to forest -produce shall be suspended for such period as it thinks fit.

Nothing in this Chapter to prohibit acts done in certain cases

34. Nothing in this Chapter shall be deemed to prohibit any act done with the permission in writing of the Forest-officer, or in accordance with rules made under section 32, or, except as regards any portion of a forest closed under section 30, or as regards any rights the exercise of which has been suspended under section 33, in the exercise of any right recorded under section 29.

CHAPTER V


OF THE CONTROL OVER FORESTS AND LANDS NOT BEING THE PROPERTY OF GOVERNMENT

31[ Repealed] 35. [Repealed by section 63 of the Private Forests Ordinance, 1959 (Ordinance No. XXXIV of 1959).]


32[ Repealed] 36. [Repealed by section 63 of the Private Forests Ordinance, 1959 (Ordinance No. XXXIV of 1959).]

33[ Repealed] 37. [Repealed by section 63 of the Private Forests Ordnance, 1959 (Ordinance No. XXXIV of 1959).]

34[ Repealed] 38. [Repealed by section 63 of the Private Forests Ordinance, 1959 (Ordinance No. XXXIV of 1959).]

Operation of the Privet Forest Ordinance

35[ 38A. (1) After commencement of this section, the Government may no longer exercise authority to vest control of forest land under sub-section (2) of section 6, section 7 or section 11 of the Private Forest Ordinance, 1959 (E. P. Ordi-nance No. XXXIV of 1959):


Provided that the forest land already vested shall remain vested.
(2) After commencement of this section, the Government may no longer exercise authority under section 3 of the Private Forests Ordinance, 1959 (E. P. Ordinance No. XXXIV of 1959) to require private forests to have working plans.

Notice of forest management activities

38B. (1) The Government may make rules for the purpose of issuing notice to owners or occupiers of neighbouring lands at least 30 days before understanding specified forest management activities that may pose a threat of harm to the environment or private or Government property or that the Government may wish to track for statistical purposes.
(2) Within 20 days after receiving notice of a proposed activity under this section, upon finding that the proposed activity is likely to cause unreasonable damage to the environment or private or Government property, the Government may issue a written order to the owner or occupier of a land to alter or to refrain from the proposed activity to prevent or minimize such damage.

Restricted activities

38C. (1) The Government may make rules to prohibit, restrict or require a permit for land clearing use of pesticides, harvest on steep stopes, or other forest management activities on private land that may pose a threat to property, renewable natural resources or the productivity of land.
(2) The Government shall empower Forest-officers to issue such permits required under sub-section (1).

Abetment of forest nuisances

38D. (1) Upon a finding that conditions on a land pose a risk of disease, insect outbreak fire or other harm to nearby renewable natural resources, the Government may issue a written order to the owner or occupier of the land to abate such a nuisance within 30 days, or sooner as may be specified in the notice, if the protection of renewable natural resources demands.
(2) To be effective, an order under sub-section (1) must be delivered personally to the owner or occupier of the land or sent to him by registered post with acknowledgement receipt due, or if the address of the person is unknown, affixed conspicuously at least two locations on the property.
(3) If the owner or the occupier fails to comply with an order under this section, the Government may enter the land, remove the nuisance and realize compensation as a public demand.]

CHAPTER VI


OF THE DUTY ON TIMBER AND OTHER FOREST-PRODUCE

Power to impose duty on timber and other forest produce

39. (1) The Government may levy a duty in such manner, at such places and at such rates as it may declare by notification in the official Gazette on all timber or other forest-produce
(a) which is produced in Bangladesh, and in respect of which the Government has any right;
(b) which is brought from any place outside Bangladesh or is transported from or to any place within Bangladesh.
(2) In every case in which such duty is directed to be levid ad valorem, the Government may fix by like notification the value on which such duty shall be assessed.

Limit not apply to purchase money for royalty

40. Nothing in this Chapter shall be deemed to limit the amount, if any, chargeable as purchase-money or royalty on any timber or other forest-produce, although the same is levied on such timber or produce while in transit, in the same manner as duty is levied.

CHAPTER VII


OF THE CONTROL OF TIMBER AND OTHER FOREST-PRODUCE IN TRANSIT

Power to make rules to regulate transit of forest-produce

41. (1) The control of all rivers and their banks as regards the floating of timber, as well as the control of all timber and other forest-produce in transit by land or water, is vested in the Government, and it may make rules to regulate the transit of all timber and other forest-produce.
(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power such rules may
(a) prescribe the routes by which alone timber or other forest-produce may be imported, exported or moved into, from or within 36[ Bangladesh];
(b) prohibit the import or export or moving of such timber or other produce without a pass from an officer duly authorized to issue the same, or otherwise than in accordance with the conditions of such pass;
(c) provide for the issue, production and return of such passes and for the payment of fees thereof;
(d) provide for the stoppage, reporting, examination and marking of timber or other forest-produce in transit, in respect of which there is reason to believe that any money is payable to the Government on account of the price thereof or on account of any duty, fee, royalty or charge due thereon, or, to which it is desirable for the purposes of this Act to affix a mark;
(e) provide for the establishment and regulation of depots to which such timber or other produce shall be taken by those in charge of it for examination, or for the payment of such money, or in order that such marks may be affixed to it; and the conditions under which such timber or other produce shall be brought to, stored at and removed from such depots;
(f) prohibit the closing up or obstructing of the channel or banks of any river used for the transit of timber or other forest-produce, and the throwing of grass, brushwood, branches or leaves into any such river or any act which may cause such river to be closed or obstructed;
(g) provide for the prevention or removal of any obstruction of the channel or banks of any such river, and for recovering the cost of such prevention or removal from the person whose acts or negligence necessitated the same;
(h) prohibit absolutely or subject to conditions, within specified local limits, the 37[ establishment of wood based industries including saw-mils, saw-pits, furniture marts and brick-fields], the converting, cutting, burning, concealing or making of timber, the altering or effacing of any marks on the same, or the possession or carrying of marking hammers or other implements used for marking timber;
(i) regulate the use of property marks for timber, and the registration of such marks; prescribe the time for which such registration shall hold good; limit the number of such marks that may be registered by any one person, and provide for the levy of fees for such registration.
(3) The Government may direct that any rule made under this section shall not apply to any specified class of timber or other forest-produce or to any specified local area.

38[ Omitted ] 41A. [Omitted by section 3 and 2nd Schedule of the Bangladesh Laws (Revision And Declaration) Act, 1973 (Act No. VIII of 1973).]

Penalty for breach of rules made under section 41

42. (1) The Government may be such rules prescribe as penalties for the contravention thereof imprisonment for a term which may extend to 39[ three years and shall not be less than two months and shall also be laible to fine which may extend to ten thousand Taka and shall not be less than two thousand Taka].


(2) Such rules may provide there penalties which are double of those mentioned in sub-section (1) may be inflicted in cases where the offence is committed after sunset and before sunrise, or after preparation for resistance to lawful authority, or where the offender has been previously convicted of a like offence.

Government and Forest-officers not liable for damage to forest-produce at depot

43. The Government shall not be responsible for any loss or damage which may occur in respect of any timber or other forest-produce while at a depot established under a rule made under section 41, or while detained elsewhere, for the purposes of this Act; and no Forest-officer shall be responsible for any such loss or damage, unless he causes such loss or damage negligently, maliciously or fraudulently.

All persons bound to aid in case of accident at depot 44. In case of any accident or emergency involving danger to any property at any such depot, every person employed at such depot, whether by the Government or by any private person, shall render any assistance to any Forest-officer or Police-officer demanding his aid in averting such danger or securing such property from damage or loss.

CHAPTER VIII
OF THE COLLECTION OF DRIFT AND STRANDED TIMBER

Certain kinds of timber to be deemed property of Government until title thereto proved, and may be collected accordingly

45. (1) All timber found adrift, beached, stranded or sunk;
all wood or timber bearing marks which have not been registered in accordance with the rules made under section 41, or on which the marks have been obliterated, altered or defaced by fire or otherwise; and
in such areas as the Government directs, all unmarked wood and timber;
shall be deemed to be the property of Government, unless and until any person establishes his right and title thereto, as provided in this Chapter.
(2) Such timber may be collected by any Forest-officer or other person entitled to collect the same by virtue of any rule made under section 51, and may be brought to any depot which the Forest-officer may notify as a depot for the reception of drift timber.
(3) The Government may, by notification in the official Gazette exempt any class of timber from the provisions of this section.

Notice to claimants of drift timber

46. Public notice shall from time to time be given by the Forest-office of timber collected under section 45. Such notice shall contain a description of the timber, and shall require any person claiming the same to present to such officer, within a period not less than two months from the date of such notice, a written statement of such claim.

Procedure on claim preferred to such timber

47. (1) When any such statement is presented as aforesaid, the Forest-officer may, after making such inquiry as he thinks fit, either reject the claim after recording his reasons for so doing, or deliver the timber to the claimant.
(2) If such timber is claimed by more than one person, the Forest-officer may either deliver the same to any of such persons whom he deems entitled thereto, or may refer the claimants to the Civil Courts, and retain the timber pending the receipt of an order from any such Court for its disposal.
(3) Any person whose claim has been rejected under this section may, within three months from the date of such rejection, institute a suit to recover possession of the timber claimed by him; but no person shall recover any compensation or costs against the Government, or against any Forest-officer on account of such rejection, or the detention or removal of any timber, or the delivery thereof to any other person under this section.
(4) No such timber shall be subject to process of any Civil, Criminal or Revenue Court until it has been delivered, or a suit has been brought, as provided in this section.

Disposal of unclaimed timber

48. If no such statement is presented as aforesaid, or if the claimant omits to prefer his claim in the manner and within the period fixed by the notice issued under section 46, or on such claim, having been so preferred by him and having been rejected, omits to institute a suit to recover possession of such timber within the further period fixed by section 47,the ownership of such timber shall vest in the Government, or, when such timber has been delivered to another person under section 47, in such other person free from all encumbrances not created by him.

Government and its officers not liable for damage to such timber

49. The Government shall not be responsible for any loss or damage which may occur in respect of any timber collected under section 45, and no Forest-officer shall be responsible for any such loss or damage, unless he causes such loss or damage negligently, maliciously or fraudulently.
Payments to be made by claimant before timber is delivered to- him

50. No person shall be entitled to recover possession of any timber collected or delivered as aforesaid until he has paid to the Forest-officer or other person entitled to receive it such sum on account thereof as may be due under any rule made under section 51.

Power to make rule and prescribe penalties

51. (1) The Government may make rules to regulate the following matter, namely:-


(a) the salving, collection and disposal of all timber mentioned in section 45;
(b) the use and registration of boats used in salving and collecting timber;
(c) the amounts to be paid for salving, collecting, moving, storing or disposing of such timber; and
(d) the use and registration of hammers and other instruments to be used for marking such timber.
(2) The Government may prescribe, as penalties for the contravention of any rules made under this section, imprisonment for a term which may extend to 40[ three years and shall not be less than two months and shall also be laible to fine which may extend to ten thousand Taka and shall not be less than two thousand Taka].

CHAPTER IX


PENALTIES AND PROCEDURE

Seizure of property liable to confiscation

52. (1) When there is reason to believe that a forest-offence has been committed in respect of any forest-produce, such produce, together with all tools, 41[ vessels], vehicles or cattle used in committing any such offence, may be seized by any Forest-officer or Police-officer 42[ or any other officer authorized in this behalf by or under any other law inforce].
43[ (1a) Every officer other than a Forest-officer seizing any property under this section shall hand over all the seized property mentioned under sub-section (1) along with the accused to the nearest forest-office for further legal proceedings:

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