Kochi | Plantation firm Harrisons Malayalam Ltd has reported a loss of about Rs 25 crore in the nine-month period ended December as business was affected by the legal tussle with Kerala government over ownership rights of some of estates and fall in prices of two commodities, officials said. Harrisons Malayalam Ltd’s (HML) loss till December 2014 was Rs 25 crore while during the last fiscal, it had reported a profit of Rs 4 crore, they added.
HML has always been within the framework of the law of the country, company’s President, Special Business unit-B, C Vinayraghavan and Vice President (Legal) V Venugopal said. The title deeds of the company’s lands are validly executed documents which were registered at the concerned Registry offices following law prevailing at the relevant period, they told reporters here. A series of unilateral enquiries on its landholdings for the past few years has resulted in creating doubts among the public about the landholdings and led to trespasses into estate lands, they said.
These developments have seriously affected the business of the company and it was finding it difficult to carry on with even day-to-day operations, Vinayraghavan said. HML is not in possession of any unauthorised lands as alleged and the company has written to government on various occasions expressing willingness to cooperate with any impartial inquiry or survey in this regard, he said, adding, there seems to be some sought of witch hunt against the firm.
Alleging that government was victimising the company which was providing employment to about 13,000 people in rural Kerala, mostly women, he said over a lakh of people, being families of employees, are dependent on the company for their livelihood. Venugopal said senior officers of HML are accused of forging title deeds executed and registered in 1923.
Endorsements of these documents prove that they were produced in various courts of Kerala in the sixties, he added. Since the last two years, the company has not cut rubber trees and the replantation work is not going on in its rubber plantations, officials said.
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