Rule 12(9) Of Kerala Wetland Rules Prima Facie Ultra Vires To Extent It Charges Fee Depending On Area Of Proposed Building: Kerala High Court

first_imgNews UpdatesRule 12(9) Of Kerala Wetland Rules Prima Facie Ultra Vires To Extent It Charges Fee Depending On Area Of Proposed Building: Kerala High Court Lydia Suzanne Thomas22 May 2021 12:10 AMShare This – xThe Kerala High Court has declared that Rule 12(9) of the Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Rules (Rules) is prima facie ultra vires its parent Act, the Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act, 2008 (Act) in so far as it charges a fee depending on the area of buildings exceeding 3000 square feet proposed in ‘un-notified’ lands. Justice PB Suresh Kumar made this declaration on Tuesday, upon a writ petition filed by Abad Builders. Facts The petitioner-builder owns land within the limits of Kochi Corporation (the Corporation) measuring 17.62 Ares, of which 6.93 Ares was shown earlier in the revenue records as ‘nilam’ (wet land). This 6.93 Ares of land was however not notified as paddy land or wetland under the Act. Therefore, it became land described as ‘un-notified’ in terms of the provisions of the Act. Section 27A of the Act allows a person to apply to the Revenue Divisional Officer to utilise ‘un-notified’ land for other purposes. In light of this provision, predecessors of the petitioner were granted permission under Section 27A(1) of the Act to utilise this land for other purposes. Following this, the said land was reclassified in revenue records as ‘purayidom’ (dry land). Later, the petitioner purchased the land, obtaining a building permit from the Corporation for construction of a building in the land, having an area of 670.78 square meters. Subsequently, they submitted an application before the Corporation for a revised building permit for construction of a building having an area of 9274.44 square meters in the said land. The petitioner averred that since a portion of the land where the petitioner proposes to put up the building is an unnotified land in terms of the Act, the petitioner is obliged to pay Rs.100/- per square foot for the area of the building exceeding 3000 square feet in terms of Rule 12(9) of the Rules. The petitioner alleged that the Corporation is now insisting on a payment of fee for for the area of the building exceeding 3000 square feet as well as for processing their application. Aggrieved, the petitioner challenged Rule 12(9) to the extent it provides for levy of fee, arguing that it is ultra vires the provisions of the Act. As an interim relief, the petitioner had sought a direction to the Corporation to process the application without insisting payment of fee. Rule 12(9) and Section 27A of the Act Rule 12 (9) prescribes the fee payable for grant of permission under Section 27A (1) of the Act to utilize lands falling under the definition of ‘un-notified land’ for residential, commercial or other purpose. Rule 12(9) read with the schedule provides that fee shall be payable at the rate of Rs.100/- per square foot for the area of building exceeding 3000 square feet proposed in the land. Submissions The petitioner’s counsel Advocate BG Haridranath argued that since Section 27A empowered the competent authority to permit the utilization of un-notified lands for other purposes, levying a fee based on the area of the proposed building was not consistent with Section 27A or contemplated by the legislature. Therefore, the levy under Rule 12(9) on the basis of the area of the proposed building was ultra vires the Act. The Additional Advocate General emphasized that the Rule 12(9) was within the scope of Section 27A of the Act. He then pointed out that the predecessors of the petitioner were granted permission under Section 27A (1) of the Act subject to the condition that they would pay fee for the same as provided for under Rule 12(9) of the Rules. Since the petitioner’s predecessors had accepted the conditions under Section 27A and acted upon the same to get their land reclassified in revenue records, the petitioner was estopped from seeking the declaration sought for by them in the writ petition. The Court’s holding To determine whether the petitioner was entitled to interim relief, the Court decided to conduct a prima facie examination of constitutionality of the fee levy under Rule 12(9). Justice Suresh Kumar agreed that Section 27A of the Act is a provision intended to permit owners of un-notified lands to utilise the same for residential or commercial or other purposes. “The grant of permission provided for under Section 27A of the Act being a service rendered by Government officials to individuals, though not as a privilege, levy of a fee for the same cannot be said to be ultra vires the provisions of the Act. But, the pointed question is as to whether such a fee could be levied having regard to the area of the building proposed in such lands”, the Court posed. Holding that the requirement of a fee based on the building’s area was extraneous the purpose of Section 27A, the Court explained, “The permission contemplated under the said provision being a permission for utilisation of un-notified lands for residential or commercial or other purposes, after ensuring that user of the same would not in any manner undermine the object of the Act, the area of the building, if any, proposed by the applicant in the land is irrelevant and extraneous in the context of the statute, and levy of a fee for such permission on the basis of the area of the building proposed in the land cannot therefore be construed as one consistent with Section 27A and one contemplated by the legislature.” With this reasoning, the Court proceeded to take a prima facie view that the requirement for a fee for area of buildings exceeding 3000 square feet in un-notified lands was ultra vires. With respect to the Additional Advocate General’s contention relating to estoppel, the Court said, “…it is now settled that no estoppel can legitimate an action which is ultra vires, and the rule of estoppel is not available in respect of ultra vires acts of statutory body/authority..” Therefore, the Court allowed the petitioner’s interim relief, directing the Corporation to process the builder’s application without insisting upon a fee. “True, every rule is presumed to be intra vires and in a challenge against the rule on the ground that the same is ultra vires, an interim order is normally not issued. But, it is settled that if the Court finds that the rule is ex facie ultra vires the provisions of the Act, there cannot be an impediment in granting an interim relief in the matter,” the Court reasoned.The Court made clear that the arrangement would be subject to the final decision in the writ petition.CASE: ABAD BUILDERS v. STATE OF KERALAClick here to download the OrderTagsKerala Conservation of Paddy Lands and Wetlands Act Kerala Conservation of Paddy and Wetland Act 2008 Kerala High Court Justice PB Suresh Kumar Next Storylast_img read more

Weather Updates: Fireworks and Bike Parade Set for Saturday

first_imgFireworks in Ocean City during the Gillian’s Wonderland Pier anniversary celebration in June.A rainy day and a distant hurricane combined to wash out the Fourth of July event schedule on Friday, but the fireworks and other activities have been rescheduled for Saturday, July 5.The fireworks will be launched from a barge anchored off Ninth Street. With Hurricane Arthur passing by Ocean City far out in the Atlantic Ocean on Friday, city officials decided to postpone the fireworks in case surf conditions made it unsafe for the fireworks crew on the water.As it turned out, Ocean City saw head-high waves through the afternoon, but strong local winds knocked down much of the surf from the fast-moving storm.The Gardens Civic Association Bike Parade has been rescheduled to 10 a.m. Saturday. The South Ocean City Improvement Association Bike Parade is cancelled. SOCIA made the announcement Friday morning. There will be no rain date.Ocean City schedule of events for Saturday, July 5, is as follows:FIREWORKS (Moved to Saturday, July 5)A 9:30 p.m. musical fireworks display will be fired from a barge at sea off the Ocean City Music Pier (between Eighth and Ninth streets). The show will be visible from the downtown blocks of the beach and boardwalk. The popular band Tidal Wave will entertain in front of the Music Pier from 7: 30 p.m. to approximately 8:45 p.m. The band will play again after the fireworks are over.KITE FESTIVAL, YO-YOs and HULA HOOPSA Kite Festival competition on the beach near the Ocean City Music Pier will be sponsored by Air Circus with registration at 6 p.m. Entry is free. Kite awards in various categories will be presented at 7:30 p.m. At 8 p.m., there will be a yo-yo demonstration and contest followed by a hula hoop competition at 8:30 p.m.Kite categories include Most Patriotic, Largest, Smallest, Highest Flying, Best Homemade, Best Stunt Flyer, Youngest Flyer and Oldest Flyer.BIKE PARADEGardens Civic Association (Moved to Saturday, July 5): The Gardens Civic Association’s Bike Parade also starts at 10 a.m. with registration 9 a.m. at the Longport Bridge parking lot. Entry is free.__________Sign up for OCNJ Daily’s free newsletter and breaking news alerts“Like” us on Facebooklast_img read more

Should NASCAR ban Confederate flags at races? Bubba Wallace, other drivers weigh in

first_imgFrom the NASCAR statement back in 2015 to which the sanctioning body still defers: “While NASCAR recognizes that freedom of expression is an inherent right of all citizens, we will continue to strive for an inclusive environment at our events.”For a sport that has condemned the flag but has not completely banned it from races, the key words are “inclusive environment.” They’re why Bubba Wallace among others would prefer if fans were not allowed to display Confederate flags while at tracks.MORE: NASCAR drivers push for “real change” on racial issues”My next step would be to get rid of all Confederate flags (at races),” Wallace said Monday night during an interview on CNN when asked about what NASCAR can do to battle racial injustice. “There should be no individual that is uncomfortable showing up to our events to have a good time with their family that feels some type of way about something they’ve seen, an object they have seen flying.”No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race. So it starts with Confederate flags. Get them out of here. They have no place for them.”Wallace later admitted he has not always been bothered by the presence of fans’ Confederate flags at NASCAR races, but he now understands their impact.”Diving more into it and educating myself, people feel uncomfortable with that,” Wallace said. “People talk about that. That’s the first thing they bring up. So there’s going to be a lot of angry people that carry those flags proudly, but it’s time for change. We have to change that. I encourage NASCAR, and we will have those conversations.”Bubba Wallace on CNN Monday night“My next step would be getting rid of all Confederate flags” at NASCAR events pic.twitter.com/3c76cl4h1T— Alan Cavanna (@AlanCavanna) June 9, 2020Ryan Blaney, a fellow NASCAR Cup Series driver and a friend of Wallace’s off the track, expressed a similar sentiment after Sunday’s event at Atlanta Motor Speedway when asked about Confederate flags at races.”It’s tough, but I don’t really enjoy it because sometimes I feel like the people that wave them mean the negative when they wave them, and that’s not cool,” Blaney said, via USA Today. “Yeah, I’d love to not see them at the race track, honestly, because it doesn’t make everyone comfortable, so that’s kind of where I stand on that. Bring your 50 stars flag; I think that would be way better.”Blaney’s Team Penske teammate Brad Keselowski agreed with the condemnation of the Confederate flag but did not go as far as suggesting it be completely banned from NASCAR races.”I recognize that that flag might mean something different to different people, but it doesn’t mean United States of America to me,” Keselowski said Sunday. “But I’m not gonna tell people they need to get rid of it. That’s not my right either. But I certainly don’t salute it or respect it or probably anyone else who feels the same way. But, at the end of the day, it’s not our call.”Blaney and Keselowski were asked about the Confederate flag after a race that began with a powerful moment. Before a 30-second moment of silence, pre-race pace laps were paused, and all Cup Series crew members stood atop the wall on pit road as NASCAR president Steve Phelps delivered a message against racial injustice amid global protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police. We already know how NASCAR feels about the Confederate flag. It has been disallowed by the sanctioning body as symbol in any official capacity, and in 2015, NASCAR publicly supported South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s decision to remove the flag from statehouse grounds in the wake of a racially charged mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.Now, according to Sports Business Daily, NASCAR is “actively considering changing its Confederate flag policy as calls grow for the series to permanently ban the symbol from its facilities.” A moment of silence and a message from NASCAR President Steve Phelps and drivers. pic.twitter.com/jy1U48qeLX— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) June 7, 2020MORE: Wallace passes out during post-race interviewWallace, the only black driver in NASCAR, wore a shirt that featured the words “I Can’t Breathe” and “Black Lives Matter” as he stood on pit road during pre-race ceremonies. One of his crew members held up the same shirt during the moment of silence.”NASCAR has stepped up to the plate big-time,” Wallace said the next day on CNN. “The high-ups at NASCAR, every single one of them reached out. They have my utmost respect, and they give me their support in the direction we’re heading.”last_img read more