The Kerala High Court held that the land given for cardamom cultivation could only be utilised for cultivating cardamom and violation of the same would entail resumption of land by the Government.

A Division Bench of Justice A. Muhammad Mustaque and Justice Shoba Annamma Eapen observed, “We find that rigour under Section 8 would continue to operate notwithstanding repeal of Cardamom Rules. The land given for cultivation of cardamom under the Cardamom Rules can only be utilised for the purpose of cultivating cardamom. The rigour of Clause 6 of KLUO also would apply in respect of utilisation of land.

Advocate K.I.Mayankutty Mather represented the petitioner, while Sr GP Jaffer Khan appeared for the respondents.

The petitioner had sought permission to build a small structure on the land of which he claimed ownership. The said land was a cardamom land.

The proposed construction, intended for residential purposes was rejected by the Tahsildar. He denied the request of NOC under Rule 34 of the Rules. The State had argued that Section 8 of the Kerala Government Land Assignment Act, 1960, remained in force, governing land assigned under the repealed rules.

The Kerala Land Utilisation Order 1967 (KLUO) imposed strict regulations on land use, defining cardamom as a food crop and prohibiting its conversion without written permission from the Collector.

The Court stated that “cardamom plantation will have to be retained as cardamom plantation.” Therefore, the Court held that the cardamom plantation must be retained as such, with any violation subject to government land resumption.

However, nothing prevents the District Collector from permitting the construction of any building which may be required for maintaining the cardamom plantation. We also note that there was small building in the land held by the petitioner. Therefore, we direct the District Collector, Idukki to consider the request for NOC,” the Court remarked.

Accordingly, the High Court disposed of the petition.

Cause Title: Aynikkal Plantations Pvt. Ltd v. State of Kerala & Ors. (Neutral Citation: 2024:Ker:24696)


Petitioner: Advocates K.I.Mayankutty Mather, T.K.Sreekala and Athira Prasad

Respondents: Sr GP Jaffer Khan and Advocate Joice George

Click here to read/download the Judgment