The Kerala High Court on Friday said prima facie, it was of the opinion that malls don't have the right to collect parking fees and asked Kalamassery municipality whether it had issued any license to the Lulu International shopping mall at Ernakulam for the same.
Justice P V Kunhikrishnan, was hearing grievance raised in two writ petitions alleging that Lulu International shopping mall at Ernakulam is collecting parking fee for vehicles parked in the parking space of their building without any authority.
The Court noted that prima facie malls can not collect parking fees. Justice Kunhikrishnan stated,
"As per the "Building Rules, sufficient area for parking space is necessary for constructing a building. Parking space is part of the building. The building permit is issued on condition that there will be parking space. Based on this undertaking the building is constructed. After constructing the building, whether the owner of the building can collect parking fee is the question. Prima facie I am of the opinion that it is not possible."
However, the Court has sought the opinion of the municipality in the issues. "This Court want to know the stand of the Municipality on this issue. The Municipality concerned will file statement/counter affidavit about their stand regarding the issue, whether the parking fee can be collected for the parking space earmarked to a building as per the permit," the Court stated.
Justice Kunhikrishnan has not barred the mall from collecting parking fees, however the further collection of parking fee for parking vehicles in the area which is earmarked in the building permit for parking will be subject to the result of the final decision of this writ petition. However, in the meanwhile they can collect parking fees "at their risk," the Court stated.
The Municipality should place on record the affidavit/statement, if any, within two weeks. The matter has been posted on 28.01.2022.
Cause Title: Pauly Vadakkan vs Lulu International Shopping Mall Pvt. Ltd.
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