PHUKET: The Phuket Appeal Court today overturned the judgment of the Provincial Court and ordered businessman Boonkeng Srisansuchart to vacate two plots of land, of 21 rai and 68 rai respectively, in the Panturat Hills next to the bypass road.
K. Boonkeng is a major property developer and the owner of Srisuchart Transportation.
The successful appeal was made by the Provincial Land Reform Office (PLRO), which argued that K. Boonkeng had no right to occupy the land because the two plots had been included in the SorPorKor land reform program, which is aimed at providing poor people with farmland.
The court heard that K. Boonkeng is neither a farmer nor poor. He owns four companies and more than 20 pieces of Chanote-titled land, His estimated annual income, the court was told, is more than 10 million baht.
K. Boonkeng countered that the land had been in his family for generations before the SorPorKor land reform was started.
The Appeal Court disagreed, and ordered K. Boonkeng and his associates to vacate the land.
The court victory by the PLRO is the third successful case against rich people in possession of SorPorKor land. Last month, Narong Nopdara and Tossaporn Thepabutr were expelled from land in the Nakkerd Hills in Karon.
Like the other two, K. Boonkeng may apply to the Supreme Court to try to get the Appeal Court decision reversed.
The Appeal Court is to consider eight further appeals by the PLRO against Provincial Court judgments on land ownership.
The Chief of the PLRO,Teerawut Tawornpattanavong, said that if the cases go to the Supreme Court and the PLRO wins again, it will rescind the SorPorKor status of the land and designate it for public recreational use.
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