Nature’s Gifts

Suresh Lohiya v. State of Maharashtra, (1996) 10 SCC 397 struck a ‘discordant note’, drawing a distinction between ‘nature’s gifts’ such as charcoal, mahua flowers or minerals and articles produced with aid of human labour which, according to it, was not included in ‘forest produce’ under The Kerala Forest Act, 1961. Suresh Lohiya did not advert to Forest Range Officer v. P. Mohammed Ali, 1993 Supp (3) SCC 627.

The distinction sought to be made defeats the Act because a product, predominantly based on illegally procured ‘forest produce’, would escape rigors of the Act. Suresh Lohiya cannot be considered a binding authority.

Hon’ble Justice S. Ravindra Bhat, Bharath Booshan Aggarwal v. State of Kerala, [Criminal Appeal No. 834 of 2009].

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