Civil Appeal No. 6799 of 2017 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 31682 of 2016). Case: Lisie Medical Institutions Vs The State of Kerala and Ors.. Supreme Court

Case Number:Civil Appeal No. 6799 of 2017 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 31682 of 2016)
Party Name:Lisie Medical Institutions Vs The State of Kerala and Ors.
Judges:A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan, JJ.
Issue:Kerala Building Tax Act, 1975 - Sections 3, 3(1), 3(2), 3A(1), 3A(2), 5, 9(2), 9(4), 11; Income Tax Act, 1961 - Section 12A; Kerala Panchayat Raj (Licensing of Livestock farms) Rules, 2012 - Rules 2, 3(1)
Judgement Date:May 09, 2017
Court:Supreme Court


A.K. Sikri, J.

1. This appeal is preferred against the order dated 18.07.2016 passed by the Division Bench of the High Court in Writ Appeal No. 1386 of 2016 which was filed by the Appellant herein challenging the order of the learned single Judge whereby the writ petition of the Petitioner has been dismissed. We may mention at the outset that the Appellant (M/s. Lisie Medical Institutions) is claiming itself to be a charitable institution and is, thus, seeks exemption from liability of paying building tax under the Kerala Building Tax Act, 1975 (for short the 'Act') in respect of its building in Ernakulam, Kerala where it runs the hospital.

2. A brief description of background facts would suffice, which is as follows:

The Appellant 'M/s. Lisie Medical Institutions' was constituted under a Registered Trust Deed, executed on 03.04.1990 by the Archdiocese of Ernakulam, appointing Rev. Msgr. Parackel as the trustee of the Trust. The Appellant-trust is only an instrumentality of its settler, the Church. His Excellency Mar Sebastian Adayantharath (Chairman), Auxiliary Bishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese, His Excellency Mar Jose Puthenveettil Auxiliary Bishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese, Msgr. Sebastian Vadakkumpadan, Syncellus of the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese, Rev. Fr. Thomas Vaikathuparambil, Director (Chief Executive Trustee), Rev. Fr. Babu Kalathil, (Asst. Executive Trustee), Rev. Fr. Varghese Palatty, (Asst. Executive Trustee), Rev. Fr. Joshy Puthuva, (Finance Manager), Rev. Fr. Sebastian Kalapurackal, (Director), Sr. Thelma MSJ (Member), Adv. Bobby Vallamattam (Member), Dr. Babu Palatty (Member), Fr. Anto Chalissery (Asst. Executive Trustee), and Fr. Jimmy Kunnathoor, (Asst. Executive Trustee), constitute its present Board of Trustees. The Trust was constituted inter alia for achieving the following main and ancillary objects:

(a) The main object of the Trust is the reception and Treatment of persons suffering from illness, or mental defectiveness, or for the reception and treatment of persons during convalescence or of persons requiring medical attention or rehabilitation solely for philanthropic purposes and not for purposes of profit, and that too irrespective of caste, creed and community and especially for that purpose to take over (when handed over) the management of Lisie Hospital or any other institution or to own, start and manage any other such institutions.

(b) The ancillary object of the Trust is to extend financial help to the poor either directly or through other institutions, either for medical relief or in extreme necessity for other charitable purposes.

It is claimed that the Trust Deed itself shows that the predominant and ancillary objectives of the Trust is charitable purpose alone, with no intention of whatsoever nature to earn or make any profit at any time, but only philanthropic purposes to serve the humanity. Thus each and every act contemplated under the Deed of Trust is advancement of charity which is not restricted to any class, caste or religion.

3. In Kerala, building tax is leviable under the Act. Under Section 5 of the Act, it is provided that on every building the construction of which is completed on or after 10.02.1992, shall be charged building tax based on the plinth area at the rate specified in the Schedule to the Act. Section 3 of the Act provides for exemptions from the application of the provisions of the Act itself. Since Section 3 of the Act is of real importance or material in deciding the issues raised herein, it is...

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