The Supreme Court on Friday questioned the claim of resort owners on their legal right to plantation land in Munnar. The Apex Court was considering an appeal filed by the Kerala government against a state High Court order which had earlier ruled in favour of the resort owners in the Munnar eviction drive.
Making an observation on the state governmentâ€™s contention that the High Court had based its judgement on a photocopy of the title deeds of the land under contention, the Supreme Court said that if that was indeed the case, the matter definitely need to be re-looked into.
The Court also observed that the resort owners had obviously made use of the land to build resorts and not grow cardamom. â€śHow can land that was given for growing cardamom be used to build resorts?â€ť it asked.
The High Court had in its order then directed the state government to pay a provisional compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the Cloud9 Resorts, which had 11 of its buildings demolished at Chinnakkanal, as part of the Munnar eviction drive that was launched by the then LDF government in 2007.
This was following the resort ownerâ€™s writ petition in the Kerala High Court against the takeover of the land by the Munnar District Collector on the orders of the Land Revenue Commissioner in 2007.
Challenging the HC directive, the previous UDF government had gone to file an appeal in the Supreme Court last April requesting nullification of the same.