State says it forged papers to draw up scheme

The State government, on Monday, told the Kerala High Court that the composite scheme for amalgamating Harrisons Malayalam Ltd., Enchanting Plantations Ltd., and Malayalam Plantations Ltd. was intended to scuttle the action taken by the State government to take over lands in the illegal possession of Harrisons Malayalam.

In an affidavit, T.V. Vijayakumar, Joint Secretary, Revenue Department, said the subterfuge of amalgamation was employed solely to “hive off precious government land illegally in favour of paper companies.”

The affidavit said the government was concerned about the scheme of the company since precious government land was going to be transferred under the cover of the composite scheme, which was formulated on the basis of concocted and fraudulent documents. The government said the High Court had already stayed the Vythiri Taluk Land Board’s order issued in favour of the company. The order came on a writ petition filed by the government which contended that 59,693.997 acres of land spread over eight districts had been possessed illegally by the company.

The affidavit pointed out that that even before filing a counter affidavit in response to the petition, the board of directors, at a meeting, resolved to transfer land in favour of a new company called Harmony Plantations Ltd. The permission of the High Court was not sought. The company was also notified in the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Besides, the High Court had asked the company to surrender the excess land in its possession in August. It was then that the company filed an application seeking permission for the amalgamation scheme with a view to “defraud the investing public by holding out that various estates illegally possessed” by the company had “marketable title.”

The company was consistently trying to change the status of the land under the guise of the amalgamation. The company was indulging in “overreaching the jurisdiction of the High Court.”The government pleaded that its intervention application seeking to reject the company’s petition for the court’s permission for the amalgamation scheme be allowed.

The court adjourned to next week the hearing on the petition.