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After the amendment of Section 233 of the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act, 1994 by Act 14 of 2018, the power of the Village Panchayat to refuse permission has been taken away by the Legislature : High Court of Kerala

Once the applicant complies with all the requirements and produces all the necessary permits/licenses which are required to be produced, the Panchayat cannot refuse a D&O license and same was upheld by High Court of Kerala through the learned bench led by HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE T.R.RAVI in the case of NAJEEB HASSAN vs. KOPPAM GRAMA PANCHAYAT & Secretary (WP(C) NO. 18285 OF 2021) on 26th March, 2022.

Facts of the case are that the writ petition has been filed challenging Ext.P6 order whereby the 2nd respondent has rejected an application for D&O license submitted by the petitioner for carrying out quarrying operations. The reason stated in Ext.P6 is that the area where quarrying is sought to be conducted had been affected during the floods in 2019 and that there are objections from the owners of neighboring properties.

Learned counsel for petitioner submitted that the respondent had personally enquired into the issue. The contention of the petitioner is that the order Ext.P6 is legally unsustainable in view of the judgment of a Full Bench of this Court in Tomy Thomas v. State of Kerala reported in [2019 (3) KLT 987], Abdulla M.P. & Ors. v. Trippangottur Grama Panchayat & Ors. and many other cases.

The respondents have filed a counter affidavit contending that the petitioner has an alternate remedy. The respondents have also produced complaints submitted against the establishment of the quarry.

In view of the judgment Tomy Thomas v. State of Kerala where a Full Bench of this Court has categorically held that after the amendment of Section 233 of the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act, 1994 by Act 14 of 2018, the power of the Village Panchayat to refuse permission has been taken away by the Legislature. This Court has held that once the applicant complies with all the requirements and produces all the necessary permits/licenses which are required to be produced, the Panchayat cannot refuse a D&O license. The Court held “writ petition is allowed. Ext.P6 order is set aside the 2nd respondent is directed to reconsider the application submitted by the petitioner for D&O license and grant the same, if he is otherwise entitled to, before 31.03.2022”.

Click here to read the Judgment

Judgment reviewed by – Amit Singh

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