Ker HC | Court orders Secretary of Panchayat to allow operation of amusement park for Oachira Temple festival 

Kerala High Court: Devan Ramachandran, J. allowed the petition filed by the petitioner. The petitioner was earlier permitted by Oachira Temple Administration Board to establish and operate a temporary amusement park for the Oachira Temple festival, which was to commence from 15-11-2019 and was to continue until 01-12-2019. He claimed that he had obtained all the necessary licences and consents from the Competent Authority, but the Secretary of the Panchayat refused to allow him to operate the Amusement Park on the ground that the structural stability of the equipment and rides to be used was not certified. The petitioner also claimed that in the past years, the structural stability of the equipment in the amusement park was certified the Assistant Executive Engineer of the PWD Mechanical Division, but when he approached them this year, he denied to do so, citing the reason that they had no experts to issue such certificates.

The petitioner, therefore, requested the Panchayat to direct the Secretary to issue him the necessary permission to run the Amusement Park on the strength of the stability certificate which he had earlier obtained from Government approved Mechanical Engineering Experts. 

The Court had heard this matter on other occasions too where they had asked the Government Pleader to obtain instructions from the Assistant Executive Engineer in PWD Mechanical Division, whether he would be in a position to inspect the Amusement Park and certify its stability and safety. The Senior Government Pleader had submitted that the said Authority had informed that his office did not have the competence to do so and if it was done, in past, it was without necessary legal sanction. He mentioned that the said Authority had taken a stand that the stability certificate from a Government approved Mechanical Engineer could be obtained by the petitioner and presented before the Secretary of the Panchayat, so that a final decision could be taken as to its operation.

The Standing Counsel for the Panchayat submitted that they had no objection in allowing the Amusement Park to function but that their only concern was that it could not be allowed to be done without a proper stability and safety certificate. Since the Assistant Executive Engineer was of the view that the petitioner should not be allowed to operate on the strength of certificates issued by Government approved Mechanical Engineers, the request of the petitioner should be cancelled.

The Court, however, allowed the petitioner to obtain valid structural and stability certificate with respect to the various equipments, machines and rides in the amusement park, from a Government approved Structural Engineer/Mechanical Engineer and held that he will be at liberty to present the certificates before the Secretary of the Panchayat. The authority after verifying that the concerned Engineer had been validly approved by the Government, should consider the application to run the Amusement Park in terms of law and after following due procedure. Since the festival was to commence soon, the Court directed the Secretary of the Panchayat to take a decision without any delay, but no later than 48 hours after the certificate is produced before him, in terms of the judgment. [K. Jayachandran v. State of Kerala, 2019 SCC OnLine Ker 4396, decided on 14-11-2019]

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