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Harrisons Malayalam welcomes verdict dismissing State plea on land deed

Harrisons Malayalam welcomes verdict dismissing State plea on land deed

Thiruvananthapuram: Plantation major Harrisons Malayalam Ltd has welcomed a High Court order dismissing the State Government plea challenging the title deed of land it owns in the State.

The company said the verdict vindicated its time-tested position on authenticity of its operations and the land it holds.

“The order has established our stand that the company had been operating well within the framework of law for over a century in Kerala and all curbs on its functioning imposed by Government orders have been vacated,” HML Vice-President Vinay Raghavan and other senior executives told a press meet here last evening.

“We have been in business from the beginning of the last century and as a responsible corporate entity we have carried on work within the framework of law,” he said.

The company executives said they were pained that a section of the media had carried “misconceived” reports about the firm alleging that it had indulged in forgery and manipulations regarding vast stretches of land it held in different parts of the State.

Rejecting the contention that HML is a “foreign company,” they said all the documents at its disposal showed it was duly registered in Kerala at the beginning of the last century and was legally entitled to carry out its business under post-Independence laws, including the State Land Reforms Legislation.

A Division Bench of the High Court had earlier this week dismissed a State Government petition challenging the title deed of land owned by HML and authenticity of its operations.

The Government had contended that being a foreign company, HML cannot hold land in the country.

The court, however, held if the Government had the clear assertion that the provisions of Foreign Exchange Regulation Act are violated as regards the title of properties in the possession of the company, it can appropriately address such questions through separate proceedings.

At the same time, the bench had clarified that all previous orders against the company would stand discharged and security, bank guarantee, if any, provided by the company would stand released.


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