In a major decision, the apex court has ordered eviction of more than ten lakh tribal and Adivasi families living in forests.
The order will be applicable across the nation.
It is said that around 11,72,931 land ownership claims made by Scheduled Tribes and other forest dwellers under the Forest Rights Act have been rejected, according to affidavits filed by states in the apex court.
It was informed that as per the Act itself, forest dwellers living on forest land for at least three generations prior to December 31, 2005, are eligible for land rights.
The Supreme Court has now asked 17 state governments to finish the eviction process by July 12.
The top court also directed the Forest Survey of India to submit a satellite image once the encroachers are removed.
Out of the 17 states, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Odisha comprise 20 per cent of the total claims for land ownership.