Former Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekaran on Friday said the department issued the order allowing to chop reserved trees, except sandalwood, by owners of patta (private) land in good faith, but it was misinterpreted and misused.
In the wake of the controversy over the large-scale felling of trees in the cover of the order, Mr. Chandrasekaran told mediapersons here that the order was withdrawn after its misuse came to notice.
According to the Land Registration Act, 1964, farmers were allowed to cut the trees which had been planted or uprooted on the allotted land. However, felling of the trees would not be allowed on all patta land. The decision to withdraw the order was taken after its misuse came to notice, he said.
Mr. Chandrasekaran said such an order was issued considering the request of farmers and farmers’ organisations. Besides, the legislation brought in by K.M. Mani, Revenue Minister in 2005, was also taken into consideration.
He refuted the allegation that he had met the accused while he was Revenue Minister. The accused neither contacted his office nor did he know or speak to them. Action should be taken against those who had misused the order, he said.
Mr. Chandrasekaran said he had nothing to be afraid of and welcomed all investigation, including by Central agencies, in the matter.