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Delaying the grant of NOC beyond a limited time frame is considered as a violation of one’s civil rights: The High Court of Kerela

Expeditious action to be taken by the local authorities that have permission granting power. An indefinite delay to grant such a permission is against the nature of justice and goes in violation of one’s civil rights. The aforesaid has been upheld by the High Court of Kerela while adjudicating the case of Abdul Bari v. The District Collector & Ors. [WP(C) NO. 9471 OF 2021] which was decided by the single judge bench comprising Justice N.Nagaresh on 22nd June 2021.

The facts of the case are as follows. The petitioner entered into an agreement with a party to conduct a granite quarry. For getting Environmental Clearance for quarrying, a survey sketch of the land prepared by Taluk Surveyor has to be counter signed by Tahsildar. The petitioner submitted an application to the tahsildar for his approval. application submitted by the petitioner was not acted upon for the reason that land assignment proceedings in respect of the land are pending before Deputy Collector (LR), Thrissur. The DC issued communication directing the Tahsildar to expedite proceedings of petitioner’s application. However, such an application was denied the rant of NOC by the Cochin Devaswom Board. Consequently, the petitioner filed another application with the DC but still no action was taken.

After a perusal of the facts and arguments at hand, the court issued the following directions. “The pendency of application submitted by the petitioner before the 2nd respondent-Tahsildar is not disputed. The District Collector, as per communication, has directed the 2nd respondent to take a final decision on the request of the petitioner. Failure of the 2nd respondent to take a final decision on application will affect the civil rights of the petitioner who has executed agreement as early on 29.11.2017. Therefore, delaying a decision on application cannot be justified. In the circumstances, the writ petition is disposed of directing the 2 nd respondent to pass final orders on application made by the petitioner in accordance with law within a period of four weeks”

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