The Kerala High Court today said it was up to the government to take action strictly in accordance with the law against Tata Tea, to recover any land which was found to have been trespassed.
The order in this regard was issued by Justice K M Joseph while disposing a petition by Tata Tea, challenging the eviction notice issued by the government.
Tata Tea counsel and senior Supreme Court advocate Soli J Sorabjee submitted before the court that the company had not trespassed or encroached on any land at Munnar.
Additional Advocate General (AAG) Venganoor Chandrasekharan informed the court that the purport of the notice issued against Tata Tea was not to take over any area in its legal possession.
According to the Land Board award passed in 1994, Tata Tea had got possession of over 58,741 acres of land at Munnar.
The forest conservator recently issued a notice alleging that Tata Tea had encroached on forest land and converted the lease hold. The government submitted that the land allotted for planting firewood trees had been converted into tea estates by the Tatas.
However, the AAG said that on the ground of conversion, the government does not intend to proceed against the land in possession of the Tatas.
The court recorded the submission. Sorabjee argued that the company had not trespassed on any land vested with the government.