The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear on April 23 a plea seeking an interim stay on alleged demolition of houses of Adivasis in the forests of Chhattisgarh, PTI reported.

Lawyer ML Sharma said houses of Adivasis at Kalmipara in Raigarh district were demolished despite the top court staying the eviction of forest dwellers.

The plea alleged that industrialist Naveen Jindal of Jindal Steel and Power Limited, other companies and political leaders along with the state police demolished huts of Adivasis in Raigarh and other districts. The plea claimed that demolition of houses in some areas was put on halt in view of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections and may resume after elections in the state on April 23.

“Demolition still continues in different areas of the forest or villages,” the plea said. “If huts were demolished, residents will be compelled to be ousted from the land belonging to forest or villages, which has already been grabbed by the industrialist and company on paper with the help of the then collector and state authorities either via sale or acquisition proceeding based on false certificates of consent.”

On Monday, the Supreme Court had refused to entertain a separate plea filed by Sharma on the matter of eviction of forest dwellers. The court had asked him to file an application seeking to intervene in a pending case.

On February 28, the Supreme Court had stayed the implementation of its earlier order evicting more than 10 lakh families of Adivasis and other forest dwellers from forest lands across 16 states. The Centre and the Gujarat government had moved petitions in the top court seeking a stay on the court’s February 13 order.

The Parliament had passed the Forest Rights Act in 2006. The law gave back to traditional forest dwellers their rights to access, manage and govern forest lands and resources within village boundaries, which had been controlled by the forest department since colonial times.