Illegal land holding by Harrisons Malayalam Ltd in Kerala

Reported by

Sooraj H SLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

November 22, 2019

Location of Conflict

Kollam, Thrissur, Waynad


Reason or Cause of Conflict

Commercial Agriculture/Agro-Business



People Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)



Starting Year






Harrisons Malayalam Ltd. (HML), the biggest land holding private firm in the state of Kerala was established its business back in 1834. They leased tens of thousands of acres of land for agri business which includes tea plantations, rubber plantations and other diversified agri products. Since 2004, discrepancies of land holdings, land alienation and forgery of documents by the company has came to light. After the official probes and court directives a high level committee was constituted under (Special Offiecer) Mr. MG Rajamanickam in 2013. Rajamanickam Committee Report found a total of 76769.80 acres of land held by the company in which 59363 acres has no legal documents/ownership deeds. Also, land alienation of 12658.16 acres by the company was recorded and Forgery of Documents were reported. Rajamanickam committee recommended that the rightful ownership of land leased to private comanies before 1947 came to the state government under the Indian Independence Act, 1947. Accordingly, the activities of HML has clearly violated the Kerala Land Reforms Act of 1963. Thus action should be taken to evict the land identified as illegal holding. Eviction notice has been served to HML for 29000 acres of illegal holdings which was challenged by the company in the High Court of Kerala. The case is still going on. Various reports of discrepancies were came to the notice of revenue authorities since 2004, which led to an operation to verify the legitimacy of Harrisons Malayalam Ltd. landholdings. In 2006 the Kerala government conducted a detailed report about the land holdings of Harrisons Malayalam Ltd. According to the Government of Kerala, Harrisons Malayalam Ltd. has got as much as 59363 acres of illegal land in the state of Kerala. In 2013, the government had constituted a High Level Enquiry Committee headed by Mr. Rajamanikyam, following a Kerala High Court, to take over all the unauthorised landholdings, if any, of HML in the State. In October, 2013, M. G. Rajamanickam with power vested by Kerala high court and Kerala Land Conservancy Act inspected the land in four districts, heard the company's contentions and finally decided that the land belonged to the government and the company was an illegal occupant.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Type of Land


Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Forest Rights Act of 2006

Legislations/Policies Involved

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community? What was the decision of the concerned government department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Non-implementation / violation of the FRA

Legal Status:

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Official name of the criminal law. Did the case reach trial?

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Revenue Department, Kerala

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Harrisons Malayalam Ltd, RPG Enterprises

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:
No Images Available

Documented By

Sooraj H S

Reviewed By

Sooraj H S

Updated By

Sooraj H S

Edited By

Sooraj H SLand Conflict Watch

Support our work

Your contribution ensures continuity of this crucial project.

As a member, you will get exclusive access to special reports, policy papers and research projects undertaken by Land Conflict Watch and behind-the-scenes interactions with the writers and researchers about their work.
Contribute Now