HML land issue: Centre yet to respond to demand for probe - The New Indian Express

HML land issue: Centre yet to respond to demand for probe

Published: 06th December 2012 12:03 PM

Last Updated: 06th December 2012 12:03 PM

The State Government’s initiative for reclaiming illegal land under the possession of Harrisons Malayalam Ltd (HML) has come a cropper with the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the Reserve Bank of India not  responding to a plea for an investigation into the affairs of the company.

Former Revenue Principal Secretary K B Valsala Kumari, in a letter dated  October 10, had requested the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Company Affairs, SEBI and the  Reserve Bank of IndiaChief Manager for an investigation into the affairs of the Harrisons Malayalam Ltd. In the letter, she said that the Harrisons Malayalam Ltd  had mooted an amalgamation of its various companies by suppressing the material fact through forged and concocted documents, a matter of grave concern and against public interest, warranting investigation into the affairs of the company under section 237 of the Companies Act. The government also demanded action against the company for violation of FERA and for playing fraud. However, the government is yet to receive any reply in this regard.  Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash said that the government would go ahead with the reclamation plans by taking the High Court into confidence.

“The government will discuss with the Revenue officials and also with the government pleader in the High Court and see what can be done,’’ he told Express.  Prakash said the company had been trying to cheat the court and the government.

 Though the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Company Affairs, SEBI and the Reserve Bank of India had not responded to the October 10 letter, they were quick enough to reply to anoather letter sent on November 7 with regards to the same issue of amalgamation. In the said letter, sent by Revenue Joint Secretary T V Vijayakumar, the government had saidthat sanction should not be given for the amalgamation/merger of Harrisons Malayalam Ltd companies until cases related to the possession

of its land were disposed off.  In reply to this letter, the Ministry of Home Affairs on November 26 said that they did not have any inputs regarding the matter. ‘Prima facie, we do not seem to be concerned with this. It may please be clarified as to why these papers were sent to the Ministry,’ the letter said.

The RBI, in its reply to the same letter on November 27, said that since Harrisons Malayalam Ltd  is a non-banking financial company, it does not come under its purview.  Stating that the first letter was more important, sources in the Revenue Department said that the Centre was playing hide and seek. ‘’It is quite strange that the Centre and the financial institutions  have replied to the second letter whereas the main contention of the state has not been  considered,’’ sources said.

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