The state government on Monday told the Kerala High Court that the amalgamation among the companies- Harrisons Malayalam Ltd, Enchanting Plantations Ltd, Malayalam Plantations Ltd and Harmony Plantations Ltd was intended to thwart the attempts of the government to recover the land under the illegal possession of the company. The amalgamation was vitiated by fraud and intended to hive off precious government land illegally in favour of paper companies, T V Vijayakumar, Joint Secretary, Revenue Department said in an affidavit. Justice K Vinod Chandran adjourned the hearing on the petition to next week.
“The government is very much interested in the matters of the company since precious government land is being transferred under the cover of the composite scheme based on concocted documents,” state said and added that the government had also initiated steps to preserve the land.
The government said the High Court had stayed the Vythiri taluk land board‘s order issued in favour of the company. “59693.997 acres of land spread in eight districts has been possessed illegally on the basis of fraudulent documents,” it said. The state said even before filing a counter-affidavit by the company in the petition, it convened a meeting of the board of directors and resolved to transfer land in favour of a new company Harmony Plantations Ltd without even seeking the permission of the High Court. It was also notified before the Bombay Stock Exchange. The High Court on August 8 had also asked the company to surrender the excess land in its possession. In the meantime, the company filed an application seeking permission for amalgamation of companies with a view to make the investing public believe that various estates illegally possessed by the company were having marketable title. The company was consistently attempting to change the status of the land under the guise of amalgamation by flouting land laws of the state, including the Land Reforms Act. The company has indulged in activities to overreach the jurisdiction of the HC and to mislead the public that the proposed scheme is legal.
Appearing for the state special government pleader Susheela R Bhat sought to allow its intervention application in the petition and a directive to declare the entire scheme proposed by the company as illegal.