W.P. (C) No. 978 of 2017. Case: Philip Philip Vs District Collector. High Court of Kerala (India)

Case NumberW.P. (C) No. 978 of 2017
CounselFor Appellant: P.K. Sajeevan and For Respondents: V.K. Shamsudheen, Government Pleader
JudgesK. Vinod Chandran, J.
IssueKerala Building Tax Act, 1975 - Sections 2(k), 5, 5A
Citation2017 (1) KLT 578
Judgement DateJanuary 20, 2017
CourtHigh Court of Kerala (India)


K. Vinod Chandran, J.

  1. The petitioner is aggrieved with Exhibit P2 order, passed by the Assessing Authority and Exhibit P5 revisional order, passed by the District Collector. An appeal was also filed against the order at Exhibit P2, the order in which is not produced; and the revisional order, which has now affirmed the appellate order, is produced and impugned. The first contention of the petitioner is that the District Collector himself has deputed an Assistant Engineer (AE) of the Public Works Department to measure the plinth area of the building. By Exhibit P6 report of the AE it is specifically pointed out that the plinth area of the building is 282.47 square metres; which includes the verandahs in front of the building in the ground floor at 39.24 square metres and in the first floor at 8.30 square metres and the portion under the staircase to be 2.14 square metres. In such circumstance, the said area, which is unusable, has to be excluded, is the argument. Reliance is placed on the decision of a Division Bench, reported as Lillykutty v. District Collector & Ors. (2012 (3) KHC 157) to urge that the plinth area has to be determined on the basis of Rule 8 of the Kerala Municipality Building Rules, 1999 which provide for exclusion of 50% of floor area of open spaces. The petitioner's contention before the District Collector, the revisional authority, was also that the Bureau of Indian Standards defines the "plinth area" to be the built-up area covered, measured at the floor level of the basement or of any storey and that for measurement of the plinth area, only 50% of the unprotected portion, of verandah and balcony, is to be taken into account.

  2. This Court does not understand how the 'Method of Measurement of Plinth, Carpet and Rentable areas of Buildings' as brought out by the Bureau of Indian Standards would be applicable to the The Kerala Building Tax Act, 1975 [for brevity "Building Tax Act"]; especially when that legislation has not adopted the method prescribed by the Bureau of Indian Standards. The District Collector has also refused to draw any inference from the method so prescribed.

  3. The Building Tax Act provides for specific exemptions and exclusions; by the proviso to sub-section (5) of S. 5, wherein the plinth area of a garage or any other erection or structure appurtenant to a residential building used for the purpose of storage of firewood or for any non-residential purpose is excluded. There is no...

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