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Kitex Garments Ltd., represented by its Managing Director-Sabu M. Jacob v/s State of Kerala, represented by Principal Secretary To Government, Taxes (H) Department & Another


Company & Directors' Information:- KITEX LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74140KL1975PLC002744

Company & Directors' Information:- KITEX GARMENTS LIMITED [Active] CIN = L18101KL1992PLC006528

Company & Directors' Information:- K C GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18101DL2005PTC139844

Company & Directors' Information:- D R GARMENTS (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18101GJ2005PTC046010

Company & Directors' Information:- R. R. GARMENTS LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51900MH1995PLC095544

Company & Directors' Information:- M. B. GARMENTS (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18202WB2011PTC157173

Company & Directors' Information:- S G GARMENTS LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18101WB2004PLC098193

Company & Directors' Information:- K K P GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U65921TZ1994PTC005334

Company & Directors' Information:- B K GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18101DL2001PTC109850

Company & Directors' Information:- KERALA GARMENTS LTD [Active] CIN = U18101KL1974SGC002619

Company & Directors' Information:- N K GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18101DL2000PTC107093

Company & Directors' Information:- K. D. GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18109WB2005PTC101896

Company & Directors' Information:- G AND A GARMENTS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U18101PB1995PTC016121

Company & Directors' Information:- V H GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U52322MH2008PTC181066

Company & Directors' Information:- M S GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1991PTC046660

Company & Directors' Information:- C & Y GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U25209TN1988PTC016306

Company & Directors' Information:- S. S. GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18101DL1996PTC083315

Company & Directors' Information:- R K GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18100GJ1994PTC023240

Company & Directors' Information:- H S V GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U18101DL2005PTC141103

Company & Directors' Information:- C B GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U18109WB2011PTC161559

Company & Directors' Information:- G. M. GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18109DL2006PTC152683

Company & Directors' Information:- D AND D GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1975PTC007923

Company & Directors' Information:- J S GARMENTS (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74900WB2009PTC135262

Company & Directors' Information:- K. B . GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18109WB2011PTC166954

Company & Directors' Information:- A K GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U17120DL2015PTC282847

Company & Directors' Information:- D P GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U18101DL2004PTC129479

Company & Directors' Information:- V S GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18101DL2005PTC143084

Company & Directors' Information:- P AND P GARMENTS PVT LTD [Under Process of Striking Off] CIN = U18101DL2005PTC143556

Company & Directors' Information:- V S GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18101HR2005PTC068124

Company & Directors' Information:- L. H. GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U17121KA2011PTC060761

Company & Directors' Information:- K M S GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U18101KL2002PTC015310

Company & Directors' Information:- K R GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U17111WB1998PTC087046

Company & Directors' Information:- T & A GARMENTS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U52321TN1993PTC025318

Company & Directors' Information:- P. S. GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18204DL2007PTC164238

Company & Directors' Information:- S. A. GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U17121DL2007PTC165007

Company & Directors' Information:- T S GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51494DL1996PTC076668

Company & Directors' Information:- GARMENTS INDIA PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U51909GJ1979PTC003310

Company & Directors' Information:- I G S GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U18101DL2004PTC128723

Company & Directors' Information:- P V S GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18101TZ2007PTC013976

Company & Directors' Information:- M. P. GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U17291DL2007PTC164129

Company & Directors' Information:- K. S. GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18101DL2007PTC164404

Company & Directors' Information:- J K GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18101DL2003PTC120039

Company & Directors' Information:- B G GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL2005PTC142488

Company & Directors' Information:- V B GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18101DL1997PTC088244

Company & Directors' Information:- S S R GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999DL1997PTC088511

Company & Directors' Information:- S P GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U18101DL2003PTC120709

Company & Directors' Information:- P N GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51311DL2004PTC127524

Company & Directors' Information:- J B GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U18101PB1996PTC017533

Company & Directors' Information:- A. D. S. GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U52609DL2017PTC321217

Company & Directors' Information:- H. K. GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18109DL2007PTC159196

Company & Directors' Information:- V P GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U18109DL2012PTC233293

Company & Directors' Information:- S T GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18109DL2015PTC277043

Company & Directors' Information:- P L GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U17120DL2013PTC248417

Company & Directors' Information:- M. K. GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U17291DL2007PTC164395

Company & Directors' Information:- U R GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U18101DL2002PTC114011

Company & Directors' Information:- N J GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18101DL2002PTC117748

Company & Directors' Information:- R A GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Converted to LLP and Dissolved] CIN = U18101DL2003PTC123385

Company & Directors' Information:- P C GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U18101DL2004PTC129478

Company & Directors' Information:- N V GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18101DL2005PTC133534

Company & Directors' Information:- C S GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18101DL2005PTC134787

Company & Directors' Information:- L S GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18101DL2005PTC136180

Company & Directors' Information:- B L GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18101DL2005PTC136912

Company & Directors' Information:- B D S GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18101DL2005PTC137898

Company & Directors' Information:- T G GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U18101DL2005PTC143392

Company & Directors' Information:- B K C GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Converted to LLP and Dissolved] CIN = U18101DL2006PTC144478

Company & Directors' Information:- R B P GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED. [Active] CIN = U18101DL2006PTC148881

Company & Directors' Information:- G P S GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED. [Active] CIN = U18101DL2006PTC149330

Company & Directors' Information:- G P GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U18101DL2007PTC161067

Company & Directors' Information:- I B GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51909DL2013PTC257044

Company & Directors' Information:- G P S GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED. [Active] CIN = U74110DL2006PTC149330

Company & Directors' Information:- I. K. GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51109DL2008PTC180451

Company & Directors' Information:- A G GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51300DL2013PTC257609

Company & Directors' Information:- Y B GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51311DL2004PTC129581

Company & Directors' Information:- V R V GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51311DL2008PTC182256

Company & Directors' Information:- Y N GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U81010DL2003PTC123182

Company & Directors' Information:- M V GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899HR2005PTC141797

Company & Directors' Information:- A AND R GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U17120HR2013PTC049037

Company & Directors' Information:- F T GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U18109KL2015PTC037773

Company & Directors' Information:- G AND G GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U17299MH2020PTC350276

Company & Directors' Information:- V K GARMENTS PRIVATE LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U18101DL1981PTC012410

Company & Directors' Information:- P M P GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U18101DL2005PTC134811

Company & Directors' Information:- A S GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U17212CH1992PTC012350

Company & Directors' Information:- V R GARMENTS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U18101CH1991PTC011345

Company & Directors' Information:- K M P GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U18109DL2007PTC162181

Company & Directors' Information:- S B GARMENTS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51311DL2005PTC141954

    WP(C) No. 3231 of 2012 (D)

    Decided On, 17 January 2017

    At, High Court of Kerala

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE K. VINOD CHANDRAN

    For the Petitioner: Sumathy Dandapani, Senior Advocate, Millu Dandapani, Advocate. For the Respondents: N.M. Jasmine, Government Pleader.



Judgment Text

1. The petitioner is aggrieved with Exhibit P8 order passed by the Government, on directions issued by this Court in Exhibit P5, after conducting an inspection through Tahsildar; the report of which is produced at Exhibit P7.

2. The petitioner was assessed under the Kerala Building Tax Act, 1975 [for brevity "Building Tax Act"]. The petitioner claimed that the entire building is to be exempted from payment of tax, as a factory, for reason of the same being used for ancillary activities of the factory; which are a mandate under The Factories Act, 1948 [for brevity "Factories Act"]. Earlier the petitioner, after the statutory remedies, had been before this Court [O.P.No.20032 of 1999], in which Exhibit 5 judgment was passed on 24.02.2009.

3. In Exhibit P5, this Court noticed that the petitioner was granted exemption as a factory only in respect of a part of the building. Certain other buildings allegedly used as canteen, toilets, shelter and washing room were not granted exemption as part of the factory on the ground that they do not form part of the factory. This Court specifically noticed the exemption granted under Section 3(1)(b) of the Building Tax Act and found that the exemption is for buildings which are principally used as a factory. Referring to Sections 42 to 48, of The Factories Act, it was found that any facility provided therein was a mandatory requirement for obtaining licence as a factory, the absence of which would invite penal proceedings against the petitioner. On an interpretation of the exemption granted under Section 3 of the Building Tax Act and the definition of 'factory' read in conjunction with Sections 42 to 48 of the Factories Act, it was held that the buildings provided by the owner of a factory to satisfy the statutory requirements under Sections 42 to 48 would also be eligible for exemption under Section 3 of the Building Tax Act.

4. The learned Government Pleader then pointed out that the contention of the petitioner itself was not with respect to any canteen, toilets, shelters, washing room, etc. as required under Sections 42 to 48 and the specific averment was with respect to a hostel for accommodating its employees. It was also the contention that such hostel was provided free of cost to house its employees. This Court noticed the contention and found that if anybody is running a factory, then the provision of the facilities as mentioned in Sections 42 to 48 of the Factories Act is integral, immediate and proximate to the running of the factory and therefore would be entitled to exemption. But considering the specific contention of the Government that the petitioner themselves referred to the building in question as a 'hostel' for accommodating their employees, this Court found against the exemption claimed. Having held so, this Court directed an inspection to be carried out by the Tahsildar to examine as to whether the buildings are constructed for satisfying the statutory requirements under Sections 42 to 48 of the Factories Act or whether the same are buildings used as hostel for accommodating the petitioner’s employees.

5. An inspection was conducted by the Tahsildar, report of which is produced at Exhibit P7. The Tahilsdar found that the employees are recruited through advertisements; which specifically provided that the Company would provide free accommodation and food to those who required it. This was not a statutory mandate. It was also found that women employees of the company work only at day time and then spend the rest of the time inside this building which was sought to be exempted. The building in question, which was inspected, was reported to be consisting of well-furnished halls with beds arranged in dormitory style. Personal cupboards were attached to every bed and the key of each cupboard is kept by the person who regularly uses that bed. On facts so noticed, it was found that the attachment of a personal cupboard near to the bed with locking facility makes it very clear that it is being used by a person who regularly uses that bed and the building is used as a hostel. The toilets provided therein were also not that provided under the Factories Act, but for use of the inmates housed in the hostel. It was also reported that the management had been deliberately trying to term the building as a shelter by stating that no registers are maintained to record the details of the employees staying therein.

6. On the basis of the report at Exhibit P5, Exhibit P8 order was passed. It was categorically found in Exhibit P8, relying on the report, that major portion of the building is used for the accommodation of the female staff of the Company and that facilities for canteen, places for washing, drying and storing of cloths, dormitory with beds and lockers, etc. are also provided. The canteen so provided also was not one which is mandatorily required under the Factories Act and is one attached to the hostel wherein the female employees are housed. The Government also relied on the advertisements made by the petitioner as revealed from the report of the Tahsildar. The Government having examined the facts in detail with the records, found that the building does not have the facilities as provided under Sections 42 to 48 of the Factories Act and is clearly a hostel, which does not come under the exemption clause. This Court had also in Exhibit P5 specifically held that a hostel building for accommodating the employees of the petitioner would not be eligible for exemption from building tax. In such circumstances, this Court does not find any reason to interfere with the impugned order.

7. The petitioner has also relied on two decisions, one by a Full Bench of this Court and another by the Hon'ble Supreme Court. Unity Hospital Vs. State of Kerala [2011 (1) KLT 236 (F.B.)] was a case in which the hostel attached to nursing schools was claimed to be exempted. The Full Bench of this Court found that the nursing schools and other medical institutions, which require compulsory hostel facility for students, for their approval, are entitled to exemption and that the mere fact that fees are recieved from the students for their residence would not negative the claim for exemption. This was the contention taken at the first point also and answered in favour of the petitioner insofar as the mandatory provisions of facilities under the Factories Act and not any other facility.

8. The argument addressed, relying on Chameli Singh Vs. State of UP [(1996) 2 SCC 549] is that the right to shelter means something more than a mere protection of one's life and limb or a roof over one's head. The said declaration was made in the context of analysing the right to life and the components of the fundamental right so enshrined in the Constitution and the duty of the State to provide housing facilities to its citizens, especially the impoverised and the socially and financially marginalised sections of society. There can be no an adoption of the said principle and the shelters as provided for in the Factories Act cannot be said to be residential accommodations. An enlightened employer could definitely provide for free accommodation for its employees; but that cannot result in an automatic exemption, so long as it is covered under the exemption clause.

9. The decisions relied on by the petitioner hence are not applicable on facts. The earlier decision of this Court produced as Exhibit P

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5, puts the issue in the correct perspective allowing exemption only to those mandatory requirements as provided under the Factories Act, without which the running of a factory would lead to penal proceedings against the occupier of such factory. It was also held in the earlier instance, that a hostel facility provided for the employees would not come under the exemption granted to a building principally used as a factory; which binds the petitioner too. The subsequent order passed by the Government, was after obtaining a factual report from the Tahsildar, as directed by this Court. There is no cause or warrant for any interference to the said order, the facts of which are explicit; calling for no dispute and the law stated is unassailable and unexceptionable. The writ petition would stand dismissed. No costs.
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