(CONSERVATION ) ACT, 1980
(WITH AMENDMENTS MADE
An Act to provide for the conservation of forests and for matters
connected therewith or ancillary or incidental thereto. Be it enacted by the Parliament in
the Thirty-first Year of the Republic of India as follows :-
- Section 1
- This Act may be called the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.
- It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
- It shall be deemed to have come into force on the 25th day of
- Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in
force in a State, no State Government or other authority shall make, except with the prior
approval of the Central Government, any order directing -
- that any reserved forest (within the meaning of the expression "
reserved forest " in any law of the time being in force in that State ) or any
portion thereof, shall cease to be reserved;
- that any forest land or any portion thereof may be used for any
- that any forest land or any portion thereof may be assigned by way of
lease or otherwise to any private person or to any authority ,corporation, agency or any
other organization not owned ,managed or controlled by Government;
- that any forest land or any portion thereof may be cleared of trees which
have grown naturally in that land or portion ,for the purpose of using it for
Explanation - For the purpose of this section ,"non-forest
purpose" means the breaking up or clearing of any forest land or portion thereof for
- the cultivation of tea, coffee, spices, rubber, palms, oil-bearing
plants, horticultural crops or medicinal plants;
- any purpose other than reafforestation;but does not include any work
relating or ancillary to conservation , development and management of forests and wildlife
, namely, the establishment of check-posts ,fire lines, wireless communications and
construction of fencing, bridges and culverts ,dams, waterholes ,trench marks, boundary
marks, pipelines or other like purposes.
- The Central Government may constitute a committee of such number of
persons as it may deem fit to advise that Government with regard to -
- the grant of approval under Section 2 ; and
- any other matter connected with the conservation of forest which may be
referred to it by the Central Government.
- Whoever contravenes or abets the contravention of any of the provisions
of Section 2, shall be punishable with simple imprisonment for a period which may extend
to fifteen days.
- Where any offence under this act has been committed -
- by any department of Government, the head of Department; or
- by any authority, every person who, at the time the offence was
committed, was directly in charge of, and was responsible to, the authority for the
conduct of the business of the authority as well as the authority; shall be deemed to be
guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished
Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render the
head of the department or any person referred to in clause (b), liable to any punishment
if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he exercised all
due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.
Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1),
where an offence punishable under the Act has been committed by a department of Government
or any authority referred to in clause (b) of sub-section (1) and it is proved that the
offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of; or is attributable to any
neglect on the part of any officer, other than the head of the department , or in the case
of an authority , any person other than the persons referred to in clause (b) of the
sub-section (1), such officer or persons shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence
and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
- Section 4
- The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette ,
makes rules for carrying out the provisions of this Act.
- Every rule made under this Act shall be laid ,as soon as may be after it
is made, before each House of Parliament ,while it is in session ,for a total period of
thirty days which may be comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions
,and if ,before the expiry of the session immediately following the session or the
successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree in making any modification in the rule or
both houses agree that the rule should not be made ,the rule shall thereafter have effect
only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be; so, however, that such
modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything
previously done under that rule.
- Section 5
- The Forest (Conservation ) ordinance, 1980 is hereby replaced.
- Notwithstanding such repeal ,anything done or any action taken under the
provisions of the said Ordinance shall be deemed to have been done or taken under the
corresponding provisions of this Act.