Chapter 6: Forest Acts, Rules and Practices
The importance of the word ‘law’ would easily be realized by imagining the state-of-affairs that may arise in a ‘lawless society’. When the British put their steps on the Indian subcontinent during the early seventeenth century, the concepts of ‘law’ or ‘rule of law’, as the same would be understood in a modern context, were virtually non-existent on this land. The behaviour of the mass was normally self-guided through a prevailing set of ethical notations which was being shaped from time to time at the will of the rulers. The authority of the rulers as the sovereign was self-proclaimed and the concept of rights of the common man was hardly emanating from any statute. Hence, protection of rights, which is considered the life-fundamentals in the contemporary perspectives were far flung during those historical days. Such a prevailing state of vacuum in the legal space of the continent paved the path for the British to create numerous legislations which they used as instruments of administration over the colony under East India Company (1757-1858) followed by the British Raj (1858-1947).
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