Wayanad: In April 2018, Wayanad District Collector S. Suhas had declared that the Alathur Estate, a private coffee estate spread over 211.77 acres at Thrissilery village of Manandavadi taluk owned by British brothers Oliver Fiennes Maurice, Edwin Joubert Van Ingen and John De Wet Ingen as Government property under the Kerala Escheats and Forfeitures Act. The Act looks into the administration and custody of escheats and unclaimed property.
The Wayanad Collector had also cancelled any right, claim, or title of anyone other than the Government on the land. It is a well-maintained coffee plantation and Oliver Fiennes Maurice had transferred his share in the estate to the other two brothers. Subsequently Edwin became the owner of the estate after the death of John. After the death of Edwin Joubert Van Ingen, the estate became subject to the Kerala Escheats and Forfeitures Act.
Michael Floyd Eshwer from Mysuru and Metilda Rosamond Gifford from England turned up with their ownership claims before Collector Suhas. After examining documents and statutes, the Collector established that Edwin Joubert Van Ingen died intestate (without leaving any legal heirs) and he was the owner of the Alathur Estate at the time of his death. Such a property belongs to the Government as per the provisions of Escheats and Forfeitures Act, wherein the Government can enjoy full title, ownership and control.