After initiating a Crime Branch inquiry into the loan fraud related to the the Nelliampathy land scam, the government is all set to probe the details of loans taken by the Harrisons Malayalam Ltd (HML), to the tune of around Rs 150 crore, against illegally-held government lands.
Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash told Express that the Revenue Secretary would be asked to probe the exact situation.
“Directions would be given to the Revenue Secretary to find out whether loans had been availed of by pledging lands, which were in the illegal possession of the company,” the Minister said.
Stating that the government would not allow alienation of government lands, he said that all government lands would be taken back.
“It was with this intention that a special officer and a team in the district-level was appointed for resuming the lands under the illegal possession of the company, on the basis of a High Court order,” he said.
As per the annual report 2010-11 of the HML, a loan of Rs 883.54 lakh was availed of in 2009-10 and 2010-11, repayable in 32 quarterly instalments of Rs 23.80 lakh from June 2014 and four quarterly instalments of Rs 30.485 lakh from 2022-23 by equitable mortgage of immovable property of the company situated in Mayfield Estate.
It also states that a loan of Rs 290.07 lakh in 2009-10 and 2010-11 repayable in 35 quarterly instalments of Rs 8.06 lakh from June 2014 and final quarterly instalment of Rs.7.97 lakh was secured on a ‘pari passu’ (at an equal rate) basis by equitable mortgage of immovable property of the company situated in Mayfield Estate.
The company, in its annual report, also states that a loan of Rs 6,000 lakh had been availed of during 2010-11 and 2011-12 by equitable mortgage of immovable properties of the company situated in Kumbazha estate.
The company had also secured a loan of Rs 5,800 lakh by equitable mortgage of immovable properties of the company situated in Wentworth Estate and Coimbatore factory during financial years 2008-09 and 2009-10.
It had been alleged that the company, which had availed of loans worth crores of rupees by surrendering lands in their illegal possession, was trying to secure more loans in the recent months.
“They had secured loans by producing illegal possession certificates,” sources said and added that the officials who had issued such certificates would also come under the scanner of the probe. Moreover, it was learnt that the Vigilance Department, which is probing the alleged forgery of the Litho maps produced by the Survey Department of the Harrisons Malayalam Ltd land holdings, was also probing the alleged loan fraud.
However, HML vice-president (legal) V Venugopal said that they were not against any probe.
“Let the probe take place. We have nothing to hide. As the property is ours, we have all right to take loans by pledging our property,” he said.