W.A. No. 707 of 2015. Case: The Clarist Medical Trust of The S.H. Province Ernakulam, Sanjoe Hospital and Ors. Vs The Secretary to Government, Revenue Department, Government of Kerala and Ors.. High Court of Kerala (India)

Case NumberW.A. No. 707 of 2015
CounselFor Appellant: V.M. Kurian, Mathew B. Kurian, K.T. Thomas and Isac T. Paul, Advs. and For Respondents: Mohammed Rafeeq, Senior Government Pleader
JudgesT.B. Radhakrishnan and Devan Ramachandran, JJ.
IssueDirect Tax
Judgement DateJanuary 10, 2017
CourtHigh Court of Kerala (India)


Devan Ramachandran, J.

  1. In all its hues, chroma, variations and countenance, the claim for exemption from payment of building tax under the Kerala Building Tax Act, 1975 (for short, 'the Act') is embedded on one provision, namely, section 3(1) therein. Since all such exemptions has its hypostatis pinned on this provision, a reading of the same becomes necessary in order to travel into the ambit and bounds of the power and the same is, therefore, extracted as under:

    "3. Exemptions - (1) Nothing in this Act shall apply to -

    (a) buildings owned by the Government of Kerala or the Government of India or any local authority; and

    (b) buildings used principally for religious, charitable or educational purposes or as factories or workshops [or cattle/pig/poultry farms or poly houses].

    Explanation I - For the purposes of this subsection, "charitable purpose" includes relief of the poor and free medical relief."

  2. It is ineluctable from even an ex-facie reading of the Section that exemption can be claimed and granted under its mandate only to buildings that are used principally for the purposes itemized therein. Discernibly, the principal use of a building for educational purpose would confer it worthy of such exemption. The question here is, if an education institution imparting teaching in Nursing gets itself attached or affiliated to a hospital for its clinical requirements would then obtain itself to be viewed as being used principally for educational purposes. The affirmative assertion to the questions is the contentions of the appellant in this appeal.

  3. This appeal has been preferred by the appellants against the judgment of the learned single Judge dismissing the writ petition thereby repelling their claim for exemption, on grounds afore-indicated, from payment of building tax for a hospital being run by them.

  4. We have heard Sri. V.M. Kurian, assisted by Sri. Isac. T. Paul, the learned counsel for the appellants and the learned Government Pleader appearing for the respondents.

  5. The appellants claim that they are running a College of Nursing as also a School of Nursing offering educational courses leading to the degree of B.Sc. Nursing and M.Sc. Nursing and that as is imperatively necessitated under the Regulations issued by the Nursing Council of India, they have to have a 120-150 bedded parent/affiliated hospital for each programme as an essential clinical facility. They assert that they are thus obligated to run a hospital...

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