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ELIZABATH MATHAI, W/O. MATHAI v. THE SECRETARY, MAZHUVANNOOR GRAMA - WP(C) No. 14425 of 2006(P)  RD-KL 1403 (18 January 2007)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAMWP(C) No. 14425 of 2006(P)
1. ELIZABATH MATHAI, W/O. MATHAI,
1. THE SECRETARY, MAZHUVANNOOR GRAMA
2. THE DISTRICT COLLECTOR,
3. CHARACHAN, CHARUPARAMBIL HOUSE,
For Petitioner :SRI.N.ANILKUMAR
For Respondent :SRI.BABY KURIAKOSE
The Hon'ble MR. Justice PIUS C.KURIAKOSE
O R D E R
PIUS C. KURIAKOSE, J........................................................... W.P.(C) No.14425 OF 2006 ...........................................................
DATED THIS THE 18TH JANUARY, 2007
J U D G M E N T
Even though Sri.N.Anilkumar, learned counsel for the petitioner has addressed me on all the grounds raised in the Writ Petition, I propose to consider only the jurisdictional ground raised therein. The scheme for sanctioning cemeteries is provided in the Kerala Panchayat Raj (Burial and Burning Grounds) Rules, 1998. A perusal of Rules 4 and 6 of those Rules will show that even though it is for the Panchayat to receive applications for commencement of cemeteries or for licence in respect of existing cemeteries, the Panchayat does not have the power to reject those applications. The Panchayat is only to consider the application within 30 days of receipt of the application and forward the same with its recommendations (the same can be in the negative also) to the concerned District Collector. Going by the counter affidavit filed by the Panchayat, there was a dispute in this case regarding the very existence of the cemetery at the time of commencement of the Rules and on enquiry conducted by the Panchayat, it was seen that the cemetery in question did not exist at all. This was why the Panchayat decided to reject the application. Rule 4(2) of the Rules will show that even if a dispute arises regarding WP(C)N0.14425 OF 2006 the existence or otherwise of a cemetery at the time of commencement of the rules, such dispute has to be decided not by the Panchayat but by the District Collector. Thus, the jurisdictional question raised has to be answered in favour of the writ petitioner.
2. Accordingly Exts.P7 and P9 will stand quashed and there will be a direction to the Panchayat to forward Ext.P4 application together with all related papers to the District Collector concerned through the D.M.O. The District Collector will thereupon comply with the procedural formalities provided under the Rules and take a final decision on Ext.P4. Needful will be done by the Panchayat and the District Collector at their earliest. The Writ Petition is disposed of as above.
(PIUS C. KURIAKOSE, JUDGE)tgl WP(C)N0.14425 OF 2006
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