The ruling as well as the Opposition parties have come out against the stay on the proceedings initiated by the special officer for recovering land allegedly under the illegal possession of Harrisons Malayalam Ltd, saying that unnecessary delay is being caused because of the court’s directive.
The Congress as well as the Left said that it was unfortunate and that the government’s good intentions were being delayed indefinitely.
When there are thousands of landless in the state, land is now concentrated in the hands of a few, they said.
The HML had in its petition alleged that the notice served by the government to take over the land denied it a chance to appeal. Special officer M G Rajamanikiam, who was appointed to retrieve land illegally possessed by the company based on a HC order, served one month’s notice on the company on January 18.
When the one-month’s period was about to end, the company filed an objection before the special officer on February 17 and the next day moved the High Court.
Sources said that the allegation that the company was not provided time could not be considered valid as the special officer had served one month’s notice.
Moreover, they said that the company also had the right to submit an appeal before the Land Revenue Commissioner and later on before the government.
When such avenues were open, it was premature on the part of the company to have filed such a petition before the court and pre-empting a decision in advance.
Stating that the recent order was unfortunate, KPCC vice-president V D Satheeshan said: “Unnecessary delay is being caused in taking back land under the illegal possession of the company because of the court orders.”He also said that all the cases pertaining to HML should be bought under the court of the Chief Justice or a court assigned by the Chief Justice.
Another Congress MLA and a member of the ‘green brigade’ T N Pratapan pointed out that courts should stand for protecting the interests of the country and the state.
“It is unfortunate that such an order has come at a time when the government was all set out to take back the land in illegal possession of the company,” he said.
CPI state executive member and subject committee (land revenue) member V S Sunil Kumar said that all the latest developments show that the government’s move to take back all lands under illegal possession was being torpedoed.
“It is strange that the HC has come out with such an order. The company has filed a petition before the court on the same day the notice period ended. Moreover, the company has filed a petition after filing an objection before the Special officer,” he said.