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Malabar Granites, Palakkad, Represented by Its Managing Partner, M.K. Joseph v/s The Secretary , Koppam Grama Panchayat, Palakkad & Others


Company & Directors' Information:- G T P GRANITES LIMITED [Active] CIN = U14102TZ1990PLC002722

Company & Directors' Information:- G S R GRANITES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U14103UP1995PTC019241

Company & Directors' Information:- P P GRANITES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U14102KA2007PTC043203

Company & Directors' Information:- B R GRANITES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U14102TG2005PTC047897

Company & Directors' Information:- G K GRANITES LIMITED [Active] CIN = U14102KA1999PLC065823

Company & Directors' Information:- R R K GRANITES LIMITED [Active] CIN = U14102TZ1990PLC002719

Company & Directors' Information:- A K J GRANITES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U14102RJ1994PTC008304

Company & Directors' Information:- G D GRANITES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U14101KA1990PTC011509

Company & Directors' Information:- K N L GRANITES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U14102AP2012PTC082961

Company & Directors' Information:- A P GRANITES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U14102TG1995PTC021475

Company & Directors' Information:- D T GRANITES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U14200AP2015PTC097227

Company & Directors' Information:- JOSEPH AND CO PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U01211KL1954PTC000507

Company & Directors' Information:- V B GRANITES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U14102KL2005PTC018741

Company & Directors' Information:- E R JOSEPH & CO PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U28920WB1955PTC022404

Company & Directors' Information:- AT GRANITES (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U14200TG2010PTC071741

Company & Directors' Information:- A & A GRANITES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U14291TN1997PTC037595

Company & Directors' Information:- MALABAR CORPORATION PRIVATE LIMITED [Dissolved] CIN = U74999KL1938PTC000695

Company & Directors' Information:- S S GRANITES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U26931UP1980PTC005137

Company & Directors' Information:- G & L GRANITES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U14220TG2016PTC103857

Company & Directors' Information:- V GRANITES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U26940TN2008PTC066786

Company & Directors' Information:- M C GRANITES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U14102KA2008PTC048539

    WA. No. 290 of 2019 in WP(C). No. 15914 of 2018

    Decided On, 08 February 2019

    At, High Court of Kerala

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE HRISHIKESH ROY & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE A.K. JAYASANKARAN NAMBIAR

    For the Appellant: Philip J. Vettickattu, Aney Paul, Advocates. For the Respondents: R1 & R2, S.P. Aravindakshan Pillai, Standing Counsel, Harish Vasudevan, Advocate.



Judgment Text


Hrishikesh Roy, J.

1. Heard Sri.Philip J. Vettickattu, the learned counsel for the appellant. Also heard Sri.S.P.Aravindakshan Pillai, the learned Standing Counsel for Koppam Grama Panchayat.

2. The appellant is the writ petitioner and he is aggrieved by the judgment dated 24.01.2019 in WP(C) No. 15914 of 2018. That case was filed seeking quashing of the communication dated 13.04.2019 (Ext.P9) of the Secretary of the Koppam Grama Panchayath to the petitioner, who applied for renewal of D&O licence for operating the crusher unit, to the effect that they are required to furnish the No Objection Certificates from the Fire & Rescue Officer as also the District Medical Officer, for considering renewal of the licence. The contention of the writ petitioner was that such No Objection Certificate from the two specified authorities is not contemplated at the time of seeking renewal of the existing licence. In support of the contention, the petitioner relied on Rule 10 of the Kerala Panchayat Raj (Issue of Licence to Dangerous and Offensive Trades & Factories) Rules, 1996 (for short, "the Rules").

3. As the records show, the writ petitioner is conducting the crusher unit since the year 1995 and the renewal for the D&O licence was being granted without any difficulty till 2018. They submitted the application for renewal for the year 2018-19 as per Ext.P6 on 19.03.2018 under the Rules. But, on this occasion, the Koppam Grama Panchayath Authorities insisted on the No Objection Certificates aforementioned as a precondition for considering the renewal. Thus aggrieved, the appellant filed the WP(C) before this Court.

4. The case of the Grama Panchayath was that when the crusher unit was initially established in the year 1995, the permission was only for machineries up to a total capacity of 65HP, whereas, currently, the installed machineries in the crusher unit are of much higher power (598HP); and therefore, there is drastic change in the nature of the industry conducted by the petitioner. For this reasons, the Panchayath Authorities insisted on the No Objection Certificates from the Fire & Rescue Department as also the medical authorities, for considering the renewal of the said licence.

5. The learned Judge had considered the question whether the respondents are entitled to insist on production of No Objection Certificates from the Fire Department as well as the District Medical Officer, for renewal of licence and then, went on to examine the provisions of the Travancore Cochin Public Health Act, 1955, which provides for dealing with "nuisance" and "power of local authority to abate nuisance". Referring to these provisions, the court was of the view that it is open to the Secretary of the Grama Panchayath to ensure compliance with the health requirements and public safety aspect, for considering renewal of the D&O licence. The WP(C) was accordingly disposed of on 24.01.2019, making it clear that if and when the petitioner applies for renewal of licence for the ensuing year 2019-20 (since the operation of Ext.P9 was stayed by an interim order), the panchayath will be at liberty to insist for clearances from the Fire & Rescue Department as well as the District Medical Officer.

6. Assailing the legality of the above judgment, the learned counsel, Sri.Philip J. Vettickattu would refer to the Ext.P13 order dated 06.05.2011 of the Grama Panchayath to point out that sanction for additional machineries was granted as early as in the year 2011, without insisting on clearance from the Fire and Safety Department or the medical authorities. It is also contended by the appellant that the application for renewal of D&O licence has to be considered expeditiously as per the State policy as also the amended provisions of the Act and the Rules. The counsel accordingly submits that the judgment should be modified to the extent that the burden on seeking clearance is placed upon the panchayath authorities and shift it away from the applicant.

7. On perusal of the statutory provisions of the Act and the Rules, it is quite clear that while considering the renewal of the D&O licence, the panchayath will not insist on NOC from the Fire and Safety Department as a precondition for renewing the licence, particularly, for an industry operating since 1995. However, the public safety and the nuisance aspect cannot also be overlooked considering the level of the responsibilities and obligations of the panchayath, to safeguard the interest of people and the public safety. Hence, minor modification of the judgment may be warranted. Therefore, it is directed that the panchayath authorities, while considering the renewal, may themselves call for reports from the Fire and Safety Department as also the District Medical Officer with regard to the safety concern of the crusher unit and if there is any negative input, they can seek necessary corrective measure from the appellant. Since the validity of the appellant's current licence is up to 31.03.2019, the Secretary of the Grama Panchayath would immediately seek reports from both authorities (the Fire and Safety Department as well as the Medical Officer

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) so that there is no delay in considering the renewal application and more particularly, there is no gap between the expiry and renewal of the licence. If the appellant unit is in possession of a valid consent from the Pollution Control Board, then, the report from the DMO will not however be warranted. In the event of any corrective steps to be addressed by the appellant, they should be put on notice before any negative decision is taken, on the renewal application. 8. The Writ Appeal is disposed of accordingly, modifying the impugned judgment to the above extent.
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