|The panchayat had revoked the company's licence in 2003|
KOCHI: A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Tuesday quashed the Pudussery grama panchayat's order cancelling the licence of Pepsico India Holdings Private Limited for running its factory at Kanjikode in Palakkad.
The Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice M.N. Krishnan quashed the order while allowing a writ petition filed by the company challenging the cancellation of its licence. It was cancelled in 2003 on the ground that there had been scarcity of drinking water in the areas near the company due to over-exploitation of groundwater. The court had earlier stayed the panchayat's order.
According to the company, the panchayat had no power to revoke the licence as it had been granted by the Kerala Industrial Single Widow Clearance Board. The power to revoke the licence had been vested only with the board, the company said. The Kerala Panchayat Raj Act did not apply to the industrial areas. The court observed that the industrial establishments put up in the new industrial area in Kanjikode were governed by the Kerala Industrial Single Window Clearance Boards and Industrial Townships Development Act, 1999. The Bench pointed out that the industrial areas declared under the Act had been excluded from the purview of the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act.
The Industrial Townships Development Act said that the industries already established or proposed to be established shall be exempted from obtaining permission from the municipality or grama Panchayat Town Planning Departmentfor development activities including construction of buildings.
© Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu