Kochi: The State government Monday informed the Kerala High Court that Kannan Devan Hills Plantations Company Private Ltd (KDHP) had not obtained its permission for using the company's nine bungalows in Idukki district for tourism purposes.
In a counter affidavit filed by Srilatha P R, Deputy Secretary, Local Self Government, it was stated that the KHDP was claiming huge extent of land on the basis of "sham and fraudlent" documents of title and accused it for taking steps behind government's back in gross violation of orders of the High Court.
The government had stayed the decision of Munnar and Devikulam panchayats decision allowing the company to use its nine bungalows at Munnar for tourism purposes. This was challenged by the KHDP.
The government stated that the KHDP, which was registered in UK, was a 'foreign company' and had indulged in transferring immovable properties. This was 'a direct affront to sovereignty of Independent India', it further stated.
The government also pointed that company had not obtained permission under FERA. They have also indulged in transfer of huge extent of government land, including Munnar town, with scant regard to sovereign system of Independent India.
The company had stated that the government had no power to suspend the decision of the two panchayats and nothing prevents KHDP from using the bungalows lying vacant in plantations for tourism purposes.
The government's allegation that the company had violated the Kanan Devan Hills (Resumption of land) Act and the Kerala land reforms act were 'absolutely unsustainable', it said.
KHDP succeeded Tata Tea Ltd in Apr 2005 when the latter exited most of its plantations in Munnar to focus on the growth of its branded tea business. The company has seven extensive gardens, covering approximately 24,000 hectares.