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Malayoram Rock Products v. Vanimel Grama Panchayat

  • Order

Panchayat Raj Act, 1994 (Kerala) – Section 233 (3) – Issuance of Trade Licence to conduct quarrying operation – Since the respondents have not acted upon the application of the petitioner for a period of 15 days, the petitioner should be treated as having been deemed licence, in the light of Rule 12(3)(c) of the Kerala Panchayat Raj (Issue of Licences to Factories, Trades, Entrepreneurship Activities and other Services) Rules, 1996.

Panchayat Raj Act, 1994 (Kerala) – There is no requirement in the Act or under in any rules made thereunder to insist that the petitioner is legally bound to produce consent from the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), in order to get Trade Licence. In the circumstances, Ext.P8 communication of the 2nd respondent is not legally sustainable.

If the Village Panchayat is of the opinion that the construction or establishment is objectionable by reason of high density of population in the neighbourhood and it is likely to cause nuisance, the Secretary shall as soon as may be after the receipt of the application, obtain an expert opinion of the department concerned with regard to determination of reasons for its abatement, at the cost of the owner or person in charge of the factory, workshop, workplace or machinery concerned and such a report shall be furnished to the Village Panchayat. The Village Panchayat shall issue permission subject to such conditions as may be required. In the case of the petitioner herein, the 2nd respondent has not obtained any expert opinion to arrive at a conclusion that the area where the petitioner proposes to establish their unit is disaster prone or that the activities of the petitioner will result in disaster.

Panchayat Raj Act, 1994 (Kerala) – Section 233 (3) – By virtue of the amendments the Village Panchayats do not enjoy any primacy of their power to refuse the application seeking permission for construction or establishment of any factory, workshop for workplace on and from the date of enforcement of the amendments.

Under the amended provisions of sub-section 3 of Section 233 of the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act, 1994 (as amended by Act 14 of 2018), it cannot be said that Village Panchayats have got primacy of power to take an independent decision to reject the applications for permission/licence under the provisions of the Act and the licensing rules, for construction or for establishment of any factory, workshop or workplace. On the other hand, the Grama Panchayats are obliged to grant omissions in cases where the authorities mentioned under Section 233 of the Act had issued such permissions or concerns or ‘No Objection Certificate’.

Citations : 2021 (4) KCC 129 : 2021 (4) KHC 398