The Kerala Government’s direction for filing civil suits against Harrisons Malayalam Ltd in local courts for retrieving all illegally held land is looked at with scepticism with doubts raised over the real objective behind it.
Legal experts have raised doubts over the real intention behind the decision to go for civil suit against the plantation majors, who have been allegedly exposed in the special officer M G Rajamanickam’s report of illegally holding large sects of public land.
Many of them have questioned the logic behind the move of filing the civil suit, which everyone knew could take decades to reach its finality. They alleged that it was only a way to give the plantation majors ‘decades of time’ to hold the lands in their possession.
“Everyone knows how much time a civil suit filed could take to conclude. With this time, the plantation majors would fragment the lands and sell them. Already this company is known for selling large sects of land, which is said to be against the existing land rules in the state,” the experts pointed out.
However, they opined that the government should have taken the lead in going ahead with framing the new legislation, which the government had initiated to take back all lands in the illegal possession of plantation majors on the backdrop of the report of Special officer M J Rajamanickam who looked into all illegal land holdings, especially that of Harrisons Malayalam Ltd, in the state.
The government had even appointed a former special secretary for framing the draft legislation. However, the government did not carry on with the legislation.
SOME FINDINGS IN SPECIAL OFFICER M G RAJAMANICKAM’S REPORT
Even after Independence, foreign companies hold lands in Kerala, violating rules of the state
State Land Board exempted large sects of land to foreign companies in violation of the Kerala Land Reforms Act 1963. Apart from this, Land tribunals also did the same.
Land Tribunals also forged Purchase Certificates
Despite cultivating tenants, the foreign companies were given large acres of land
Foreign companies misinterpreted the provisions of Kerala Land Reforms Act
The foreign companies tried to establish their predecessors, who were British citizens, as landless poor who were cultivating under landlords.