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ADVANCED AUTO FUEL INDIA PRIVATE LTD. versus STATE OF KERALA, REPRESENTED BY

High Court of Kerala

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ADVANCED AUTO FUEL INDIA PRIVATE LTD. v. STATE OF KERALA, REPRESENTED BY - WP(C) No. 24169 of 2006(B) [2007] RD-KL 3405 (15 February 2007)

IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM

WP(C) No. 24169 of 2006(B)

1. ADVANCED AUTO FUEL INDIA PRIVATE LTD.,
... Petitioner

Vs

1. STATE OF KERALA, REPRESENTED BY
... Respondent

2. DISTRICT COLLECTOR,

3. AUTO GAS ENERGY INDIA LIMITED,

For Petitioner :SRI.V.N.RAMESAN NAMBISAN

For Respondent :GOVERNMENT PLEADER

The Hon'ble MR. Justice THOTTATHIL B.RADHAKRISHNAN

Dated :15/02/2007

O R D E R

THOTTATHIL B.RADHAKRISHNAN, J

W.P(C).No.24169 OF 2006

Dated this the 15th day of February, 2007



JUDGMENT

Petitioner, stated to be an agent of the third respondent, applied for issuance of No Objection Certificate by the second respondent in terms of the Petroleum Rules for the purpose of installing an Auto LPG dispensing station. He has obtained necessary clearance from different authorities. The only objection that is taken by the second respondent District Collector is that reflected in Ext.P6, wherein, the petitioner was directed to obtain no objection letters from the residents of the locality. Ext.P6 does not say as to how many residents are intended. It also does not disclose the identity of the residents. Nor does it disclose the persons who have to be identified as the residents for the purpose of any such consent. I say so, because, Ext.P6 does not even disclose as to any particular distance rule, on the basis of which, such prescription is made. WPC.24169/06 Page numbers

2. A statement is placed on record on behalf of the first respondent, wherein, it is stated that one Mammu Haji, Iysha and Kunjalima, reside within 25 meters from the proposed site and there are other dwelling quarters within a distance of 40 meters from the southern side of the site. It is also pointed out that a high tension power line is passing through the site and that the area is thickly populated and neighbouring people have objected to NOC being given.

3. Objections of local residents by themselves are not criteria to refuse NOC. Any sustainable objection has to be based on lawful grounds. Therefore, because of the objection of the local residents to a fuel filling station, the District Collector cannot refuse NOC. Similarly, the objections referable to any resident has also to be made with reference to any distance rule prescribed by the competent authorities, by statute or otherwise. So much so, having regard to the other materials on record, it is appropriate that the objections, if any, relating to the distance rule are sorted out by the competent authority under the WPC.24169/06 Page numbers Petroleum laws, rather than the District Collector sit in judgment on that. It is the petitioner's case that the persons enumerated in the statement filed on behalf of the District Collector and referred to above are fictitious and the District Collector has not even chosen to disclose the identity or house number where they could be located.

4. In the aforesaid circumstance, this writ petition is disposed of directing that the District Collector shall issue an NOC as sought for by the petitioner within a period of three weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this judgment. He may also indicate in that NOC any specific statement of fact, which may be relevant according to him, including the identity of any particular resident, who, according to him, is within any objectionable distance from the site. He may also indicate regarding high tension power line which, according to him, is passing over the site in question, though no such statement is made in Ext.P6. It is further directed that the competent authority before granting licence to the petitioner will consider WPC.24169/06 Page numbers such statements on facts, if any, and take final decision in the matter accordingly. The competent authority under the Petroleum Laws will consider such matter in accordance with statutory rules which are relevant in the context and take final decision at the earliest. In taking such decision, the clearance and NOC granted by all other competent authorities under the specific laws etc. shall also be considered by the Petroleum authorities. The writ petition is disposed of with the above directions. THOTTATHIL B.RADHAKRISHNAN Judge kkb.


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Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites

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