The Gujarat High Court has issued notice to the Government of Gujarat and the Municipal Commissioner on a petition filed by a social worker against the illegal collection of parking fee at the malls and other commercial establishments in Surat.
A bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice Vipul M Pancholi issued notices on the petition filed by Sajeev Ezhava contending that the parking fee collected by malls and commercial establishments is illegal and against the basis of exempting them from municipal taxes.
His counsel Vishal J Dave and Nipun Singhvi also drew the court’s attention to how hefty parking fee at malls was leading to accidents as many visitors tend to park their cars outside the malls on the busy roads also leading to traffic congestion.
Advocate Dave and Singhvi pleaded that the action of collecting parking fee by the malls and commercial establishments is illegal as the RTI made by the petitioner revealed that there was no law with regard to the collection of parking fee.
The petition contended that “the approved building plan is not included in the FSI and also the same is exempted from levy of municipal tax. As per the provisions of the Comprehensive General Development Control Regulations, 2017 (CGDCR), it is compulsory for the owners of the commercial/shopping complex and malls to provide regular parking facility for the owners as well as visitors to the complex. The owners/builders availed the benefit of extra FAR by including the area meant for parking and, therefore, it is not open to them to utilise the said parking area as a commercial venture and collect fee from the visitors”.
Stressing that there is no policy for collection and regulation of parking fee in malls in Surat, the petitioner cited a government order issued in Telangana on the parking fee in malls, multiplexes etc., while emphasizing the need for the government in Surat to look into the matter.