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




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Provided that police-officers need not hand over the accused to the nearest forest-office but shall inform such forest-office of the arrest.]
(2) Every officer seizing any property under this section shall place on such property a mark indicating that the same has been so seized, and shall, as soon as may be, make a report of such seizure to the Magistrate having jurisdiction to try the offence on account of which the seizure has been made:
Provided that, when the forest-produce with respect to which such offence is believed to have been committed is the property of Government, and the offender is unknown, it shall be sufficient if the officer makes, as soon as may be, a report of the circumstances to his official superior.
Power to release property seized under section 52

53. Any Forest-officer of a rank not inferior to that of a Ranger who, or whose subordinate, has seized any tools, 44[ vessels], vehicles or cattle under section 52, may release the same on the execution by the owner thereof of a bond for the production of the property so released, if and when so required, before the Magistrate having jurisdiction to try the offence on account of which the seizure has been made.

Procedure thereupon

54. Upon the receipt of any such report, the Magistrate shall, with all convenient dispatch, take such measures as may be necessary for the arrest and trial of the offender and the disposal of the property according to law.


Forest produce, tools, etc when liable to confiscation

55. (1) All timber or forest-produce which is not the property of Government and in respect of which a forest-offence has been committed, and all tools, boats, vehicles and used in committing any forest-offence, shall be liable to confiscation.


(2) Such confiscation may be in addition to any other punishment prescribed for such offence.

Disposal on conclusion of trial for forest-offence of produce in respect which it was committed

56. When the trial of any forest-offence is concluded, any forest-produce in respect of which such offence has been committed shall, if it is the property of Government or has been confiscated, be taken charge of by a Forest-officer, and, in any other case, may be disposed of in such manner as the Court may direct.

Procedure when offender not known, or cannot be found

57. When the offender is not known or cannot be found the Magistrate may, if he finds that an offence has been committed, order the property in respect of which the offence has been committed to be confiscated and taken charge of by the Forest-officer, or to be made over to the person whom the Magistrate deems to entitled to the same:-
Provided that no such order shall be made until the expiration of one month from the date of seizing such property, or with out hearing the person, if any, claiming any right thereto, and the evidence, if any, which he may produce in support of his claim.

Procedure as to perishable property seized under section 52

58. The Magistrate may, notwithstanding anything herein before contained, direct the sale of any property seized under section 52 and subject to speedy and natural decay, and may deal with the proceeds as he would have dealt with such property if it had not been sold.

Appeal from orders under section 55, section 56, or section 57

59. The officer who made the seizure under section 52, or any of his official superiors, or any person claiming to be interested in the property so seized, may, within one month from the date of any order passed under section 55, section 56 or section 57, appeal therefrom to the Court to which orders made by such Magistrate are ordinarily appealable, and the order passed on such appeal shall be final.

Property when to vest in Government

60. When an order for the confiscation of any property has been passed under section 55 or section 57, as the case may be, and the period limited by section 59 for an appeal from such order has elapsed, and no such appeal has been preferred, or when, on such an appeal being preferred, the Appellate Court confirms such order in respect of the whole or a portion of such property, such property or such portion thereof, as the case may be, shall vest in the Government free from all incumbrances.

Saving of power to release property seized

61. Nothing herein before contained shall be deemed to prevent any officer empowered in this behalf by the Government from directing at any time the immediate release of any property seized under section 52.

Punishment for wrongful seizure

62. Any Forest-officer or Police-officer who vexatiously and unnecessarily seizes any property on pretence of seizing property liable to confiscation under this Act shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend
to 45[ one year and shall not be less than one month and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to ten thousand Taka and shall not be less than two thousand Taka].

Penalty for counterfeiting or defacing marks on trees and timber and for altering boundary marks 63. Whoever, with intent to cause damage or injury to the public or to any person, or to cause wrongful gain as defined in the 46[ Penal Code] -


(a) knowingly counterfeits upon any timber or standing tree a mark used by Forest-officers to indicate that such timber or tree is the property of the Government or of some person, or that it may lawfully be cut or removed by some person; or
(b) alters, defaces or obliterates or obliterates any such mark placed on a tree or on timber by or under the authority of a Forest-officer; or
(c) alters, moves, destroys or defaces any boundary-mark of any forest or waste-land to which the provisions of this act are applied,
shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 47[ seven years and shall not be less than two years and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to fifty thousand Taka and shall not be less than ten thousand Taka].

Some offence to be non-bailable

48[ 63A. Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, a forest-offence punishable under sub-section (1A) of section 26, sub-section (1A) of section 33 and section 63 shall be non-bailable.]

Power to arrest without warrant

64.(1) Any Forest-officer or Police-officer may, without orders from a Magistrate and without a warrant, arrest any person against whom a reasonable suspicion exists of his having been concerned in any forest-offence punishable with imprisonment for one month or upwards.
(2) Every officer making an arrest under this section shall, without unnecessary delay and subject to the provisions of this Act as to release on bond take or send the person arrested before the Magistrate having jurisdiction in the case, or to the officer in charge of the nearest police-station.
(3) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to authorize such arrest for any act which is an offence under Chapter IV unless such act has been prohibited under clause(c) of section 30.

Power to release on a bond a person arrested

65. Any Forest-officer of a rank not inferior to that of a Ranger, who, or whose subordinate, has arrested any person under the provision of section 64, may release such person on his executing a bond to appear, if and when so required, before the Magistrate having jurisdiction in the case, or before the officer-in-charge of the nearest police-station 49[ :
Provided that nothing in this section shall apply in a case where the person arrested is suspected of having committed any non-bailable offence under this Act.]

Power to prevent commission of offence

66. Every Forest-officer and Police-officer shall prevent, and may interfere for the purpose of preventing, the commission of any forest-offence.

Power to try offences summarily

67. The District Magistrate or any Magistrate of the first class specially empowered in this behalf by the Government may try summarily, under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, any forest-offence punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding 50[ two years], or fine not exceeding 51[ ten thousand] Taka, or both.

Appointment of forest Magistrate

52[ 67A. (1) The Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, appoint one or more Magistrate of the First Class to serve as a Forest magistrate to try offences exclusively under this Act, and also specify the territorial jurisdiction of such Magistrate.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law in force, such Forest Magistrate shall have authority to impose any penalty specified under this Act.]

Power to compound offences

68. (1) The Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, empower a Forest-officer 53[ not inferior to that of a Ranger] -
(a) to accept from any person against whom a reasonable suspicion exists that he has committed any forest-offence, other than an offence specified in 54[ section 26 (1A) or section 33 (1A) or] section 62 or section 63, a sum of money by way compensation for the offence which such person is suspected to have committed, and
(b) when any property has been seized as liable to confiscation, to release the same on payment of the value thereof as estimated by such officer 55[ and verified by another officer not below to the rank of a Divisional Forest Officer].
(2) On the payment of such sum of money, or such value, of both as the case may be, to such officer, the suspected person, if in custody, shall be discharged, the property, if any, seized shall be released, and no further proceedings shall be taken against such person or property.
(3) [Omitted by section 29 of the Forest (Amendment) Act, 1990 (Act No. VIII of 1990).]

Presumption that forest produce belongs to Government

69. When in any proceedings taken under this Act, or in consequence of anything done under this Act, a question arises as to whether any forest-produce is the property of the Government, such produce shall be presumed to be the property of the Government until the contrary is proved.

Prosecution of forest-offences

56[ 69A. Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, the Government may empower any Forest-officer not inferior to that of a Deputy Ranger to appear, plead and conduct the prosecution on behalf of the Government before any Court in any case where a forest-offence is under trial.]

CHAPTER X


CATTLE-TRESPASS

Cattle-tress-pass Act, 1871, to apply 70. Cattle trespassing in a reserved forest or in any portion of a protected forest which has been law fully closed to grazing shall be cattle doing damage to a public plantation within the meaning of section 11 of the Cattle-trespass Act, 1871, and may be seized and impounded as such by any Forest-officer of Police-officer.

Power to alter fines fixed under that Act

71. The Government, may by notification in the official Gazette, direct that, in lieu of the fines fixed under section 12


of the Cattle-trespass Act, 1871, there shall be levied 57[ per day
or part thereof] for each head of cattle impounded under section 70 of this Act such fines as it thinks fit, but not exceeding the following, that is to say:- 58[

CHAPTER XI


OF FORESTS OFFICERS

Government may invest Forest-Officers with certain powers

72. (1) The Government may invest any Forest-officer with all or any of the following powers, that is to say:-
(a) power to enter upon any land and to survey, demarcate and make a map of the same;
(b) the powers of a Civil Court to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents and material objects;
(c) power to issue a search-warrant under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898; and
(d) power to hold an inquiry into forest-offences, and, in he course of such inquiry, to receive and record evidence.
(2) Any evidence recorded under clause (d) of sub-section (1) shall be admissible in any subsequent trial before a Magistrate, provided that it has been taken in the presence of the accused person.

Forest-officers deemed public servants

73. All Forest-officers shall be deemed to be public servants within the meaning of the 59[ Penal Code].

Indemnity for acts done in good faith

74. No suit shall lie against any public servant for anything done by him in good faith under this Act 60[ and no court may try such a public servant for a crime stemming from actions related to the public servant's official duty under this Act and occurring within the public servant's assigned geographical jurisdiction, unless the court first conducts a preliminary inquiry and verifies that there is credible evidence to support the basic elements of the complaint].

Forest-officers not to trade

75. Except with the permission in writing of the Government, no Forest-officer shall, as principal or agent, trade in timber or other forest-produce, or be or become interested in any lease of any forest or any forest or in any contract for working any forest, whether in or outside Bangladesh.

CHAPTER XII


SUBSIDIARY RULES

Additional powers to make rules

76. The Government may make rules-
(a) to prescribe and limit the powers and duties of any Forest-officer under this Act;
(b) to regulate the rewards to be paid to officers and informers out of the proceeds of fines and confiscation under this Act;
(c) for the preservation, reproduction and disposal of trees and timber belonging to Government, but grown on lands belonging to or in the occupation private of persons; and
(d) generally, to carry out the provisions of this Act .

Penalties for breach of rules

77. Any person contravening any rule under this Act, for the contravention of which no special penalty is provided, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 61[ six month], or fine which may extend to 62[ five thousand] Taka, or both.

Rules when to have force of law

78. All rules made by the Government under this Act shall be published in the official Gazette, and shall thereupon, so far as they are consistent with this Act, have effect as if enacted therein.

CHAPTER XIII


MISCELLANEOUS

Persons bound to assist Forest-officers and Police-officers

79. (1) Every person who exercises any right in a reserved or protected forest, or who is permitted to take any forest-produce from, or to cut and remove timber or to pasture cattle, in, such forest, and every person who is employed by any such person in such forest, and
every person in any village contiguous to such forest who is employed by the 63[ Government, or a local authority, or who receives emoluments from the Government or a local authority] for services to be performed to the community,
shall be bound to furnish without unnecessary delay to the nearest Forest-officer or Police-officer any information he may possess respecting the commission of, or intention to commit, any forest-offence, and shall forthwith take steps, whether so required by any Forest-officer or police-officer or not,
(a) to extinguish any forest fire in such forest of which he has knowledge or information;
(b) to prevent by any lawful means in his power any fire in the vicinity of such forest of which he has knowledge or information from spreading to such forest,
and shall assist any Forest-officer or Police-officer demanding his aid
(c) in preventing the commission in such forest of any forest-offence; and
(d) when there is reason to believe that any such offence has been committed in such forest, in discovering and arresting the offender.
(2) Any person who, being bound so to do, without lawful excuse (the burden of proving which shall lie upon such person) fails
(a) to furnish without unnecessary delay to the nearest Forest-officer or Police-officer any information required by sub-section (1);
(b) to take steps as required by sub-section (1) to extinguish any forest fire in a reserved or protected forest;
(c) to prevent, as required by sub-section (1), any fire in the vicinity of such forest from spreading to such forest; or
(d) to assist any Forest-officer or Police-officer demanding his aid in preventing the commission in such forest of any forest-offence, or, when there is reason to believe that any such offence has been committed in such forest, in discovering and arresting the offender;
shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 64[ three months], or with fine which may extend to 65[ two thousand] Taka, or with both.

Management of forests the joint property of Government and other persons

80. (1) If the Government and any person be jointly interested in any forest or waste-land, or in the whole or any part of the produce thereof, the Government may either
(a) undertake the management of such forest, waste-land or produce, accounting to such person for his interest in the same; or
(b) issue such regulations for the management of the forest, waste-land or produce by the person so jointly interested as it deems necessary for the management thereof and the interests of all parties therein.
(2) When the Government undertakes under clause (a) of sub-section (1) the management of any forest, waste-land or produce, it may, by notification in the official Gazette, declare that any of the provisions contained in Chapters II and IV shall apply to such forest, waste-land or produce, and thereupon such provisions shall apply accordingly.

Failure to perform service for which a share in produce of Government forest is enjoyed

81. If any person be entitled to a share in the produce of any forest which is the property of Government or over which the Government has proprietary rights or to any part of the forest-produce of which the Government is entitled, upon the condition of duly performing any service connected with such forest, such share shall be liable to confiscation in the event of the fact being established to the satisfaction of the Government that such service is no longer so performed:
Provided that no such share shall be confiscated until the person entitled thereto, and the evidence, if any, which he may produce in proof of the due performance of such service, have been heard by an officer duly appointed in that behalf by the Government.

Recovery of money due to Government

82. All money payable to the Government under this Act, or under any rule made under this Act, or on account of the price of any forest-produce, or of expenses incurred in the execution of this Act in respect of such produce, may, if not paid when due, be recovered under the law for the time being in force as if it were an arrear of land-revenue.

Lien on forest-produce for such money

83.(1) When any such money is payable for or in respect of any forest-produce, the amount thereof shall be deemed to be a first charge on such produce and such produce may be taken possession of by a Forest-officer until such amount has been paid.
(2) If such amount is not paid when due, the Forest-officer may sell such produce by public auction, and the proceeds of the sale shall be applied first in discharging such amount.
(3) The surplus, if any, if not claimed within two months from the date of the sale by the person entitled thereto, shall be forfeited to Government.

Land required under this Act to be deemed to be needed for a public purpose under the Acquisition and Requisition of Immovable Property Ordinance, 1982

84. Whenever it appears to the Government that any land is required for any of the purposes of this Act, such land shall be deemed to be needed for a public purpose within the meaning of 66[ section 5(2) of the Acquisition and Requisition of Immovable Property Ordinance, 1982 (II of 1982)].

Recovery of penalties due under bond

85. When any person, in accordance with any provision of this Act, or in compliance with any rule made thereunder, binds himself by any bond or instrument to perform any duty or act, or covenants by any bond or instrument that he, or that he and his servants and agents will abstain from any act, the whole sum mentioned in such bond or instrument as the amount to be paid in case of a breach of the conditions thereof may, notwith-standing anything in section 74 of the Contract Act, 1872, be recovered from him in case of such breach as if it were an arrear of land revenue.

67[ Omitted] 85A. [Omitted by section 3 and 2nd Schedule of the Bangladesh Laws (Revision And Declaration) Act, 1973 (Act No. VIII of 1973).]

68[ Omitted] 86. [Omitted by section 3 and 2nd Schedule of the Bangladesh Laws (Revision And Declaration) Act, 1973 (Act No. VIII of 1973).]

1 Throughout this Act, except otherwise provided, the words `Bangladesh`, `Government` and `Taka` were substituted, for the words `Pakistan`, `Provincial Government` and `rupees` respectively by section 3 and 2nd Schedule of the Bangladesh Laws (Revision And Declaration) Act, 1973 (Act No. VIII of 1973)


2 Sub-section (2) was substituted, for sub-section (2) by section 3 and 2nd Schedule of the Bangladesh Laws (Revision And Declaration) Act, 1973 (Act No. VIII of 1973)
3 Clause (4A) was inserted by section 2 of the Indian Forest (Amendment) Act, 1933 (Act No. III of 1933)
4 The words `or any land suitable for afforestation` were inserted by section 2of the Forest (Amendment) Act, 1990 (Act No. VIII of 1990)
5 The word `Bengali` was substituted, for the words `the local vernacular` by section 3 and 2nd Schedule of the Bangladesh Laws (Revision And Declaration) Act, 1973 (Act No. VIII of 1973)
6 The words `and not more than four months` were inserted by section 3 of the Forest (Amendment) Act, 1990 (Act No. VIII of 1990)
7 The words, comma, figures and brackets `Acquisition and Requisition of Immovable Property Ordinance, 1982 (Ordinance No. II of 1982)` were substituted, for the words, comma and figure `Land Acquisition Act, 1894` by section 4 of the Forest (Amendment) Act, 1990 (Act No. VIII of 1990)
8 The words, comma, figures and brackets `Acquisition and Requisition of Immovable Property Ordinance, 1982 (Ordinance No. II of 1982)` were substituted, for the words, comma and figure `Land Acquisition Act, 1894` by section 4 of the Forest (Amendment) Act, 1990 (Act No. VIII of 1990)
9 The comma and words `, or wholly in money` were inserted by section 4 of the Forest (Amendment) Act, 1990 (Act No. VIII of 1990)
10 Section 16A was inserted by section 2 of the Forest (Amendment) Act, 2000 (Act No. X of 2000)
11 Sections 17 and 18 were substituted, for sections 17 and 18 by section 5 of the Forest (Amendment) Act, 1990 (Act No. VIII of 1990)
12 Sub-section (2) was substituted, for sub-section (2) by section 3 of the Forest (Amendment) Act, 2000 (Act No. X of 2000).
13 The words `the Divisional Commissioner` were substituted, for the words `the appellate officer or Court` by section 6 of the Forest (Amendment) Act, 1990 (Act No. VIII of 1990)
14 The words `Divisional Commissioner` were substituted, for the words `appellate officer or Court` by section 7 of the Forest (Amendment) Act, 1990 (Act No. VIII of 1990)
15 The words, commas, figures and brackets `Acquisition and Requisition of Immovable Property Ordinance, 1982 (II of 1982), have become vested in the Government under section 11 of that Ordinance` were substituted, for the words, commas and figures `Land Acquisition Act, 1894, have become vested in the Government under section 16 of that Act` by section 7 of the Forest (Amendment) Act, 1990 (Act No. VIII of 1990).
16 The words `cause it` were substituted, for the words `cause a translation thereof into the local vernacular` by section 8 of the Forest (Amendment) Act, 1990 (Act No. VIII of 1990)
17 Sub-sections (1) and (1A) were substituted, for sub-section (1) by section 9 of the Forest (Amendment) Act, 1990 (Act No. VIII of 1990)
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