Supreme Court of India
Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd. & Anr. v. The State of Maharashtra & Ors.
[Civil Appeal No.1102 of 2014]
30th January, 2014
It was held that the mere issuance of a notice under Section 35(3) of the Indian Forest Act, 1927 is not sufficient for any land being declared a “private forest” within the meaning of that expression as defined in Section 2(f)(iii) of the Maharashtra Private Forests (Acquisition) Act, 1975. The Court held that “Section 35(3) of the Forest Act is not intended to end the process with the mere issuance of a notice but it also requires service of a notice on the owner of the forest. The need for ensuring service is clearly to protect the interests of the owner of the forest who may have valid reasons not only to object to the issuance of regulatory or prohibitory directions, but to also enable him/ her to raise a jurisdictional issue that the land in question is actually not a forest. The need for ensuring service is also to prevent damage to or destruction of a forest.”