The Kerala High Court has held that the basement floor of any building which is situated below the average ground level need not be reckoned while categorising a high-rise building.

Justice C K. Abdul Rehim made the ruling on a petition filed by P.D. Dorphy challenging the decision of municipal authorities to reject building permit for construction of a building.

According to the petitioner, the proposed building had four floors plus a ‘basement floor’.

Permit was rejected for the reason that the building was a high-rise building.

The court held that definitions of the terms ‘floor’, ‘ground floor’ and ‘basement floor’ when they were harmoniously considered would indicate that the basement floor could not be considered as a floor of the building.

The term “high-rise building” meant a building raised from the level of a ground.

The municipal authorities contended that a building with more than four floors would come within the definition of high-rise building, even if the height was below 15 metres.