Shillong, Sep 10: Meghalaya Forest and Environment Minister, James K. Sangma on Friday introduced the Meghalaya Forest Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2021 to enable forest officers of the state to effectively investigate and prosecute forest offences at par with other states.
The amendment Bill states that the provisions of the Meghalaya Forest Regulation, 1973 (which is an adaptation of Assam Forest Regulation, 1891) in the present form are not adequate to put an effective check on the activities of such offenders.
“The amendments are necessary since in the recent past incidence of forest offences have increased considerably and forest offences are now committed by organised groups with money and muscle power,” the Bill reads.
Moreover, the Bill, states that forest officers need to be conferred with wider powers for the purpose of inquiring into a forest offence.
“It is also necessary to provide for confiscation of tools, weapons, and conveyances of offence and lay down the procedure thereof along with forest produce especially since most of the states in the country have similar provisions in their forest laws,” the Bill reads.
â€œSimilarly, legal provisions needs to be inserted to enable forest officers of the state to effectively investigate and prosecute forest offences at par with other states,â€ it further stated.