Original issue, dated 7th October, 1909.
1st reprint, dated 19th December, 1935.
2nd reprint, dated 13th October, 1951.
Revised on December 17, 1982.
IN CONNECTION WITH THIS STANDING ORDER, CHAPTER XXI AND APPENDIX II (FOREST SETTLEMENT OF THE LAND ADMINISTRATION MANNUAL AND PARAGRAPHS 184 TO 191 OF THESETTLEMENT MANUAL SHOULD BE CONSULTED).
1. Unclassed State Forest and Waste Lands - All Forest and waste lands which belong to the State, but which have not been settled and classified under the Forest Act are to be called “Unclassed State Forest and Waste Lands”. The rules regarding the Unclassed Forest and Waste Lands belonging to the Government are contained in Chapter VIII of the Punjab Forest Manual, Volume I (5th edition).
2. General Forest Policy - The Resolution of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Government of India, on the subject of National Forest Policy is contained in Chapter I of the Punjab Forest Manual, Volume I. This policy was formulated on 12th May, 1952.
3. Instructions for guidance of Forest Settlement Officers in proceedings under Chapter II of the Indian Forest Act, 1927 - The instructions issued by the Financial Commissioner, with the sanction of the State Government for the guidance of Forest Settlement Officers in proceedings under Chapter II of the Indian Forest Act (XVI of 1927) will be found in Appendix II of the Land Administration Manual.
4. Duties of Collectors in districts in which Forest Officers are employed -The instructions regarding the duties and responsibilities of Collectors in districts in which Forest Officers are employed, will be found in paragraph 766 of the Land Administration Manual.
5. Assistance to be rendered by districts staff - The Collector will see that Tehsildars and the subordinate revenue agency of all grades render assistance not only in the management of Government waste lands but also in the assessment and collection of Government dues.
B—PROCEEDINGS UNDER SECTION 68 OF THE INDIAN FOREST ACT
6. Procedure in compounding offences:- Proceedings taken by Forest Officers under section 68 of the Indian Forest Act, 1927, must be regulated in accordance 4 with the following instructions which have the sanction of the Punjab Government.
7. Forest Officer empowered to compound. Punjab Government Notification No.92, dated the 26th February, 1913 - By the notification quoted in the margin all officers of the Forest Department of a rank not inferior to that of probationary Extra Assistant Conservator are empowered to make certain compositions, in accordance with the terms of section 68 of the India Forest Act, with persons who are reasonably suspected of having committed a forest offence.
8. Personal communication generally, but not always, advisable- It is obvious that, as a general rule, powers such as those conferred by section 68 should be exercised in personal communication with the person affected by them, and it should only rarely be necessary to proceed on written reports of subordinate, and in the absence of the person offering the composition. At the same time when the amount of damage done is insignificant, if it is necessary to take compensation at all, it would be manifestly inequitable to drag a herdsman a long distance in order to make petty payment of a rupee or two to the Forest Officer. In all such cases in which Forest Officers accept composition under section 68 otherwise than in personal communication with the person offering the composition, this circumstance and the reason for it shall be noted in the register prescribed by paragraph 12 below.
The action of Forest Officer under section 68 of the Forest Act is subject to the control of the Deputy Commissioner, who, if necessary, after calling for a report may instruct the Forest Officer, how to deal with any particular case or class of cases. It is not, however, to be understood that Forest Officers must send a report and make proposals as to whether compensation should be accepted or not in every case before passing orders. The matter is one for the discretion of Deputy Commissioners, who are expected to exercise the same supervision over the action of Forest Officers in regard to the composition of Forest Offences as in other matters referred to in paragraph 766 (3) (b) of the Land Administration Manual.
9. Reasonable suspicion not caused by mere trespass: - Deputy Commissioners and Forest Officers should bear in mind that the mere fact that cattle have trespassed in reserved forests does not by itself constitute a reasonable suspicion of the commission of a forest offence. In addition to the fact of the trespass there must be reasonable grounds to suspect that it was occasioned or permitted by the person offering the composition. When accepting a composition the Forest Officer should record in column 4 of the register (paragraph 12) what these grounds are in the particular case.
10. Composition not a fine: - It is also necessary to remember that the composition to be paid is by way of compensation for a forest offence and not by way of a fine although the sum of money to be demanded by way of compensation is not limited to the amount of the damage done to the Forest. The Forest Officers should be satisfied that a forest offence has been committed, and if he considers that the offence is of so serious a nature that it is not suited to treatment under section 68 of the Act he should bring the case before the Magistrate for prosecution.
11. Release of property seized: - At the same time as a Forest Officer compounds an offence, he may release on payment of its value, any property seized under the authority of section 52. The value demanded for property should be fairly estimated. If the Forest Officer is unwilling to release the property seized, it will usually be best to refrain from compounding the offence, for the refusal to realize the property seized necessitates a reference of the case, to the Magistrate.
12. Record to be brief:- Records of proceedings preliminary to a demand should be made as brief and informal as possible. Every officer empowered under section 68 of the Act should keep a register of cases dealt with under that section in the form appended, the entries in columns 6, 7 and 9 of which he will make with his own hand. Only those cases need be entered in which compensation is actually paid.
Form of Register
|Sl.No.||Name and description of offender||Forest in which offence was committed||Particulars of offence and date thereof||Details of property seized|
|Compensation Paid||Date of payment||Signature of compounding Officer|
|On account of offence||On account of value of property seized and released|
C—REALIZATION OF FOREST INCOME
13. Arrears how recovered - Under section 82 of the Indian Forest Act (XVI of 1927) all forest income is, if not paid, when due, recoverable as if it were an arrear of land revenue. The manner in which arrears of land revenue are recoverable is described in Chapter VI of the Land Revenue Act.
14. Petty permits: -Petty permits issued by Forest Officers are ordinarily paid for in cash beforehand so that arrears cannot ordinarily accrue in respect of them.
15. Chief items of revenue realized through the Forest Officers: - The following are the Chief items of Forest Revenue realizable through the Forest Officers:
(1) Grazing leases.
(2) Lease to collect sajji, main, gulkesu, kankar and any similar articles of miscellaneous forest produce.
(3) Price of fuel sold.
(4) Price of timber sold.
These items are usually collected by Forest Officers direct but in case of non-recovery, the assistance of the Collector is obtained under Section 82 of the Indian Forest Act, 1927.
17. Security of lessees - Security must always be taken from purchasers of leases, and such security must be verified by the Deputy Commissioner before the lessee is put in possession. When the lessee’s security has been verified and his deposit (if required) has been paid, he shall be furnished with a “patta” stating the terms of the lease, signed by the Deputy Commissioner or the Forest Officer. A list of all pattas issued shall be kept up in the District Office.
18. Demand Statements -The Forest Officer will send in to the Deputy Commissioner a Demand Statement in the annexed form, showing the details of Forest Revenue due for the year and realizable through the Collector. Should any further items arise during the year, they may be reported to the Deputy Commissioner in supplementary Demand Statements in the same form.
All objections to the amount demanded will be referred by the Deputy Commissioner to the Forest Officer.
A. Demand Statement of Forest Revenue for the year_______19___
|Serial No.||Name of contractor, permit holder, & c., with caste, father’s name and residence, & c.||Name and situation of rakh or forest||Area over which the permit extends||Detail of demand||Total demand of the year||Detail of installments, amount and date when due||REMARKS|
19. Where Forest Department gets a share of the tirni - In certain cases, the grazing income of the Forest Department consists of a share of the tirni of the district proportioned to the area of grazing land under the Forest Department. In such cases the management is vested in the Deputy Commissioners, and no Demand Statement need be sent in by the Forest Officer.
20. Collection Statements- Deputy Commissioners will furnish Forest Officers with a monthly statement of demands, collections and balances of forest revenue in the following form:-
B—Statement showing the Demand, Collections and Balances of Forest Revenue required to be realized by the Collector in the District of.......for the month of...............
|For current year||Balance of previous year||Total||In previous months of current year||In present month||Total||Of previous year||Of current year||Total||Remarks explanatory of balances|
21. Remission Balances - It has been ruled by Government that in the disposal of un-realized balances of such revenue, the rules contained in Standing Order No.31 for the treatment of balances of Miscellaneous Revenue shall apply and this course must for the future be followed. It may be noted that under those rules Commissioners are competent to remit irrecoverable balances.
Before, however, recommending remissions of such Forest Revenue, the Deputy Commissioner should communicate with the Divisional Forest Officer, in order that he may have an opportunity of expressing his opinion upon the proposals made.
22. Annual grazing leases should be sold at the beginning of the rains (vide paragraph 27 of Standing Order No.31).