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B.M. Kuppuswami Mudaliar, Partner, Venus Talkies, Korukkupet Vs. the Collector of Chingleput and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMedia and Commuication
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1974)1MLJ51
AppellantB.M. Kuppuswami Mudaliar, Partner, Venus Talkies, Korukkupet
RespondentThe Collector of Chingleput and ors.
Excerpt:
- .....contended that the distance between the permanent theatre and the touring cinema is less than one mile. the board noted that the tahsildar's report was that the distance was more than one mile and 108 feet and that the collector had also measured the distance and it was found to be 1 mile 108 feet. the board further observed that it had already accepted the finding that the distance is beyond one mile and that it was therefore not open to the appellant to canvass this ground. the petitioner had not challenged the finding of the collector after the remand. therefore, the order of the collector which was the subject-matter of an appeal before the board, could not be challenged on the ground that the distance measured less than one mile. further, as noted in the order of the board itself,.....
Judgment:
ORDER

V. Ramaswami, J.

1. This is a writ petition praying for the issue of a writ of certiorari or any other appropriate order, calling for the records relating to the order of the second respondent dated 22nd March, 1973 made in B.P.Rt. No. 1413 (L), confirming the order of the first respondent, viz., the Collector of Chingleput, dated 10th January, 1973 and quash the same.

2. Under the impugned order, the Board of Revenue confirmed the grant of no-objection-certificate to the third respondent for locating a touring cinema, in the site chosen by the third respondent. The no-objection-certificate was granted originally by the Collector on 14th August, 1972. There was an appeal against that order to the Board of Revenue. By order dated 21st October, 1972, while holding that the touring cinema was not within the prohibited distance of one mile from the petitioner's permanent theatre, the Board set aside the order of the Collector and remanded the matter for a fresh disposal after considering the objections of the petitioner in regard to the adequacy. Even after remand, the first respondent came to the conclusion that the population in that area and the other circumstances justified another touring cinema and accordingly granted the no-objection-certificate again. The petitioner again put forward an appeal to the Board of Revenue. The Board, by its order dated 22nd March, 1973, has confirmed the grant of no-objection-certificate to the third respondent. In this writ petition, the learned Counsel for the petitioner contended that the grant of a no-objection-certificate to the third respondent would violate Rule 103 (2) (iii) of the Tamil Nadu Cinemas (Regulation) Rules, as amended by G.O. Ms. No. 3218, Home, dated 30th October, 1968. That rule reads as follows:

When the building in which the travelling cinema is located is thatched with inflammable materials, there shall be a minimum distance of

(i) * * * *

(ii) * * * *

(iii) Order 201 kilometre from a temple or maidan where fire-works are displayed on festivals and special occasions or factories, workshops, mills etc. where fire is used for ignition, processing etc. and sparks escape through chimney or any other outlet.

The contention of the learned Counsel for the petitioner is that there is a burial ground within the distance referred to in this rule, where burning of corpses also is done. On this ground, it was contended that the no-objection-certificate could not be issued. The object of the rule, in my view, is to prevent any fire hazard. The rule will have to be interpreted and understood with reference to this object. The emphasis on the use of fire for ignition, processing etc., and spark escaping through chimneys or any other outlet. The use of the conjunction 'and' is significant. It is not every site where fire is used for ignition that is prohibited under the Rule. For that matter, even in houses fire is used for various purposes. Reading this condition of spark' escaping through chimneys along with the specified sites and factories referred to earlier, I am of the view that a burning ground is not covered under the provisions of this rule. It is also seen that the Collector has found that the burial ground is far away in the middle of the river course, at least seven feet below the proposed site that there is a flood bank in between and that it is only very occasionally used for burning. The Board and the Collector considered that the burial or burning ground does not pose any fire hazard to the proposed tourning cinema. I am, therefore, unable to accept the contention of the learned Counsel for the petitioner that there is a violation of rule 103 (2) (iii) of the Cinema (Regulation) Rules.

3. It was next contended by the learned Counsel that in spite of the Board directing the Collector to consider the need of the area for an additional touring cinema, the Collector had not given due weight to the fact that the petitioner was not receiving sufficient income from his permanent theatre. After the remand, the Collector had found that for fairly a large distance of 15 kilometres in length and 6 kilometres in width, containing a population of 23,000 there is only the petitioner's permanent theatre and that there Was enough justification for an additional touring cinema. That the petitioner was not getting sufficient income even assuming it to be true, may be for various reasons and not necessarily due to scarcity of cinema-going public in that area. The Collector had considered this point also and come to the conclusion that an additional theatre is not an extravagance. The Board had also considered this question and come to the conclusion that there was need for an additional theatre and confirmed the finding of the Collector. I do not find any ground to interfere with this finding of the Board.

4. It was then contended by the learned Counsel for the petitioner that the distance between his theatre and the proposed touring cinema is less than one mile and that violates Rule 14 (a) of the Cinemas (Regulation) Rules. Before the order of remand, on the reports of the Tahsildar, the Collector found that the distance was more than one mile. That finding was confirmed by the Board in its remand order dated 21st October, 1972. After the remand, the petitioner did not challenge before the Collector that the distance between the permanent theatre and the proposed tourning cinema was less than one mile and therefore the Collector had not considered that point. It is represented by the learned Counsel for the petitioner that even after the remand, the Collector measured and since he had satisfied himself that it was more than one mile, he did not press that point before him. In the appeal before the Board, the petitioner again contended that the distance between the permanent theatre and the touring cinema is less than one mile. The Board noted that the Tahsildar's report was that the distance was more than one mile and 108 feet and that the Collector had also measured the distance and it was found to be 1 mile 108 feet. The Board further observed that it had already accepted the finding that the distance is beyond one mile and that it was therefore not open to the appellant to canvass this ground. The petitioner had not challenged the finding of the Collector after the remand. Therefore, the order of the Collector which was the subject-matter of an appeal before the Board, could not be challenged on the ground that the distance measured less than one mile. Further, as noted in the order of the Board itself, the distance could not be measured in the way in which the petitioner wanted the distance to be measured, because there is no such pathway along that distance. In any case, this being purely a finding of fact, I am not able to interfere with the finding in proceedings under Article 226 of the Constitution.

5. No other point has been urged in this writ petition. This writ petition fails and it is dismissed.


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