Decided on August 27,2003

JOSEPH Appellant
VENU Respondents


- (1.) The first and second respondents in O.P.6039/92 together and third respondent separately and an another interested person with leave, have filed these appeals against the judgment in O.P.6039/92. The said Original Petition was filed by twenty persons, who were engaged in fishing using stake nets, when their applications for licences, have been rejected by the second respondent stated to be relying on extraneous reasons and without considering relevant aspects in terms of R.13 of the Rules for the Management and Control of Fisheries in Government Water Rules, 1974 framed under S.18 of the Travancore - Cochin Fisheries Act, 1950. It was urged before the learned Single Judge by the State and other respondents in the O.P. that certain experts committees had been constituted by Government and the said committees had given reports to regulate the grant of licence for china nets and stake nets. Such reports also had to be taken note of. But the learned single Judge found that the report of the committee to be considered is of the committee made mention of in R.13. The reports of the committees called Babu Paul's Committee, Prof. N.Balakrishnan Nair's Committee and A.G. Kalawar's Committee cannot be the guidelines for committee under said rules. It was therefore held that the extraneous consideration shall not be allowed to play in the process of adjudication of the rights of the parties, seeking grant of licences for stake nets. Accordingly the order rejecting the licence Ext. P6 was quashed with a further direction to the appellants in W.A.2072/97 "to pass fresh orders on the applications filed by the petitioners in view of what is said above and issue certificates of registration and licences to the petitioners for the erection of stakes sought for as above".
(2.) It is contended by the appellants that the aforesaid reports are not extraneous matters. They specifically contain certain recommendations for regulating the grant of licence for china nets and stake nets. Of course the licence to operate such nets can be given only on the basis of the recommendations of a committee to be constituted under R.13 of the said Rules. But there is nothing wrong in the said committee considering the reports submitted to Government with respect to the regulation of the fishing in inland waters. Therefore the learned Single Judge went wrong when it was found that such reports are irrelevant and extraneous and cannot be taken note of while considering the issuance of licences in terms of R.13 of the rules.
(3.) It is contended by the respondents / writ petitioners that the said committees have been appointed under the Kerala Marine Fishing Regulation Act, 1980, which covers the coastal sea fishing. It does not have any relation to inland fishing. It is in that respect the learned Single Judge had found those consideration as irrelevant and extraneous. The statutory rules governing issuance of licence on china nets and stake nets are those contained in the said rules and it shall be based on the recommendation of a committee constituted in terms of such rules. The reports of any other committee shall not be the criteria in the matter of issuance of a licence for stake nets or china nets, it is contended.;

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