Abstract: Tribal people have been at the receiving end in the process of development in India. While the development benefits have largely bypassed them, they had to bear the costs as they constitute about one-third of the development-induced displaced people of India. Several legal protection measures were accorded to them since colonial times and the new land acquisition law is the latest in this regard. The 2013 Act has indeed included many provisions to ensure proper recognition of forest rights, including community rights, to ensure consent of the Gram Sabha and that the compensation reaches the Adivasi land and not any land broker. If the 2013 Act is implemented in letter and spirit, the tribal people may hope to at least be compensated and rehabilitated more fairly and justly than they have in acquisitions so far. However, actions on the ground show that the law has been bypassed, and in several states, the 2013 Act has been made irrelevant by the laws passed in the recent years.
Keywords: Adivasi land, Forest Rights Act, 2006, Pathalgadi, Tribal Areas, Niyamgiri case, Community Forest Rights patta, Fifth Schedule, Social Impact Assessment