C.K. Abdul Rehim, J.
1. The 1st respondent in the writ petition, the District Single Window Clearance Board, is the appellant, challenging the judgment in W.P.(C) No.12143/2018, dated 11th April, 2018. The 1st respondent herein is the writ petitioner and the respondents 2 to 4 are the respondents 2 to 4 in the writ petition.
2. The 1st respondent/writ petitioner sought for a direction from this Court to the appellant to issue the certificate of deemed licence/consent, as required under Section 232 of the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act, 1994 and also under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, for running of their 'granite crushing unit' for the period for which they made applications to the respective authorities.
3. The learned Single Judge found that the appellant had failed to consider and to pass orders on Ext.P5 application submitted in this regard within a period of 30 days, and therefore the 1st respondent is entitled for deemed licence/consent, after expiry of the period of 30 days from the date of submission of the application, under Section 10 of the Kerala Industrial Single Window Clearance Board and Industrial Township Area Development Act, 1999 (for short 'the Act'). The appellant was directed to issue a certificate indicating that the 1st respondent has got deemed licence/consent for the period for which such licence/consent were applied for, within two weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of the judgment. Learned Single Judge had further clarified that the direction issued will not prevent the respective authorities from taking action against the writ petitioner in the event it is found that any of the conditions stipulated in the licence/consent is violated.
4. Learned Government Pleader appearing for the appellant contended that, the appellant had no occasion to resist the writ petition by filing counter affidavit and that the impugned judgment happened to be passed without hearing the Government Pleader. The submission seems to be factually incorrect, because from the judgment itself it is evident that the Government Pleader Sri. Manu Raj K.J. was appearing for the 1st respondent. Therefore, we cannot countenance the argument that there occurred any denial of opportunity for the appellant before the learned Single Judge. 5. On behalf of the appellant it is contended that, for renewal of the licence granted by the Panchayath, the 1st respondent was not entitled to approach the 'District Single Window Clearance Board' constituted under the Act. It is contended that Section 8 of the Act is a provision enabling a person indenting to establish any enterprise, having capital investment up to Rs.15 Crores, to submit an application before the District Court for clearances or licences under various state enactments. According to the learned Government Pleader, the provision under Section 8(1) does not enable a person to approach the District Board seeking renewal of the licence/clearance granted under any of the state enactments. The said contention is resisted by Adv.Philip J. Vettickattu, by drawing our attention to SubSeciton 4 of Section 8, which is the provision enabling an appeal before the State Board, against any decision of the District Board rejecting the clearances/licences or granting the same with conditions. It is specifically pointed out that Section 8(4) also takes in the renewal of clearances/licences for running of an enterprise, as contemplated under SubSection 4. Therefore, it is argued that Section 8(1) is intend definitely to include within its scope the applications before the District Board for renewal of the clearances/licence for running of an established unit. In support of such a contention he had drawn out attention of the definition of the word 'clearances' contained in Section 2(b)(a) of the Act, which also include renewal of clearances including licences, certificates, permits or consents etc. 6. We are of the considered opinion that the above controversy need not to be resolved herein for the purpose of deciding this appeal. This is because of the fact that, the direction contained in the judgment impugned herein is on the basis of the finding for entitlement of a deemed licence by the 1st respondent, based on the failure of the District Board, either to reject or to grant the application with in the period of 30 days stipulated under Section 10 of the Act. Section 10 specifically provides that, notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force or in any other provisions of the Act itself, the District Board shall issue the clearance, licence, certificate or renewal thereon (emphasis supplied) as the case may be, within 30 working days from the date of receipt of the application. It specifically stated that, if no clearance, licences, certificates or renewal thereon as the case may be, is issued or the said application is not rejected within the said time limit, the clearance, licence, certificate or renewal thereon as the case may be shall be deemed to have been issued after the expiry of the said period of 30 days. On the facts of the case at hand, probably if the District Board had rejected the application stating that a renewal of the licences granted by the Panchayath is not contemplated under Section 8(1), the case would have been different. But the fact that the application was neither rejected nor allowed within 30 days, is not in dispute. Therefore, the argument now raised seeking an interpretation with respect to Section 8(1) will not in any manner save the appellant from the statutory obligation, on the failure of which the deeming provision will apply automatically. Further, we take note of the fact that the direction issued by the learned Single Judge is to issue the certificate indicating grant of deemed licence/consent for, the period for which the licence/consent was applied for, within two weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of the- judgment. It is pertinent to note that the judgment contains a reservation by clarifying that such direction will not prevent the respective Authorities from taking any action against the 1st respondent, in the event of violation of any of the conditions stipulated in the licence/consent. 7. Yet another contention raised by the learned Government Pleader is that, even assuming that the 1st respondent is entitled for a deemed licence, the same ought to have been limited for a period of one year. In the case at hand the direction is to issue deemed licence for the period for which it was applied for. Therefore the 1st respondent will get an undue benefit of having the licence for a period of 5 years, which according to the Government Pleader cannot be granted, is the contention. In this regard, the decision of this Court in Mohanan v. Sub Inspector of Police [2011(1) KLT 1023] was placed for our consideration. Referring to provisions contained in Rule 8 of the Kerala Panchayath Raj (Issue of licence to dangerous and offensive trades and factories) Rules 1996, it was held that, the ordinary period for which a deemed licence will be valid is one year and not five years. Based on such an interpretation, it was found that deemed licence contemplated under Section 236(3) of the Kerala Panchayath Raj Act need to be limited to a period of one year. We are of the considered opinion that, the ratio contained in the said ruling has no application on the factual situation of the case at hand. The direction issued by the learned Single Judge is not on the basis of Section 236(3) of the Kerala Panchayath Raj Act, but it is on the basis of Section 10 of the Act. The mandate of Section 10 is that, if the District Board fails to reject or grant the application within 30 days, the application shall be deemed to have been issued after expiry of the period of 30 days. In the case at hand, the application submitted before the District Board was to grant trade licence in accordance with Section 232 of the Kerala Panchayath Raj Act for 5 years from 2018-2019 to 2022-2023 and also for the renewal of the consent to operate by the Pollution Control Board. 8. Learned counsel for the 1st respondent had drawn our attention to Rule 8 of the Kerala Panchayath Raj (Issue of licence to factories, trades, entrepreneurship activities and other services ) Rules 1996, had provides that every licence issued in this regard will expire at the end of the year unless, for special reasons, the president considers that it should expire at an earlier date, when it shall expire such earlier date as may be specified therein. The proviso to Rule 8 state that the period of licence in respect of factory, industrial establishments etc., shall be fixed as five years and in such cases five times of the fee for licence per annum fixed by the Panchayath under the relevant schedule shall be realised in advance. Therefore, it is contended that even going by the provisions contained in the relevant rules under the Panchayath Raj Act, the 1st respondent is entitled for a renewal of licence for a period of five years. Further it is contended that the deeming provision under Section 236(3) of the Kerala Panchayath Raj Act contains specific limitations that the deemed licence shall be considered as allowed for the period, if any, for which it would have been ordinarily allowed. But there is no such restriction under Section 10 of the Act. 9. While considering the rival con
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tentions as mentioned above, we are of the considered opinion that what is contemplated under Section 10 of the Act is a deemed grant of the consent/licence applied for, and it cannot be restricted for any lesser period than which it is applied for before the District Board. This is especially because the proviso to Rule 8 of the Kerala Panchayath Raj Act (Issue of licence to factories, trades, entrepreneurship activities and other services) Rules specifically provides that, with respect to factory and industrial establishments etc., the period of licence shall be fixed as five years. 10. Under the above such circumstances, we do not find any legal infirmity with respect to the directions contained in the impugned judgment of the learned Single Judge. Further, we may also observed that, whether the appellant, who is the District Single Window Clearance Board, can be termed as a person aggrieved against the impugned judgment, is a doubtful question. In the result, this Writ Appeal deserves no merit and the same is hereby dismissed.