The Forest Department on Friday submitted before the Kerala High Court that the Cherunelli estate in the Nelliampathy forest region has been notified as reserve forests.

According to the state, 296 acres are notified as reserve forest. The state further submitted that in an order dated January 20, 2006, the state had made it clear that any transfer of lease land by way of assignment lease or gift attracts the Forest Conservation Act, and hence lessees cannot have any absolute right to transfer the forest land to strangers.