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Kerala High Court Issues Notice To Govt, Lulu Mall Over Plea Alleging 'Illegal' Collection Of Parking Fees

Hannah M Varghese
22 Dec 2021 12:52 PM GMT
Kerala High Court Issues Notice To Govt, Lulu Mall Over Plea Alleging Illegal Collection Of Parking Fees
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The Kerala High Court has issued notice to the State, the Kalamassery Municipality and the Lulu International shopping mall on a plea alleging that the mall is illegally collecting parking fees from its customers.Justice N Nagaresh sought the respondents' views on the petition, which contended that the mall's management was accountable for providing free parking to customers.The petition...

The Kerala High Court has issued notice to the State, the Kalamassery Municipality and the Lulu International shopping mall on a plea alleging that the mall is illegally collecting parking fees from its customers.

Justice N Nagaresh sought the respondents' views on the petition, which contended that the mall's management was accountable for providing free parking to customers.

The petition was moved by film director Pauly Vadakkan after he was charged Rs 20 as parking fees when he visited the mall on December 2. In his plea, Vadakkan has alleged that the mall staff closed the exit gates and threatened him when he initially refused to pay the amount. The plea was filed through Advocate Jomy K. Jose.

"The parking area in a commercial complex is a public place meant for the purpose of the customers visiting that commercial complex and the 1st respondent (Lulu) in no way can collect parking fees for the same. The statute does not confer any right to the first respondent to collect parking fees from their customers. Therefore it is clear that the 1st respondent is collecting parking fees without any authority of law and the same is illegal," the plea reads.

It was also contended that collecting of parking fees was a blatant violation of the Kerala Municipality Act and Kerala Municipality Building Rules 1994 since as per the rules, the mall is a commercial complex and the place earmarked in the approved building plan for parking cannot be converted into a pay & park facility. If any conversion is made, that is a fraud on the statute and unsustainable in the eye of the law, the petitioner submitted.

During the hearing, the counsel argued that the mall does not have the license to collect parking fees from customers. However, this contention was opposed by Senior Advocate S Sreekumar representing Lulu International Shopping Mall, who argued that the mall has a license to do the same.

The petition has further contended that parking fees were being collected by the mall since 2010 and that this had to be recovered by the government. Accordingly, the plea has sought a declaration that collection of parking fees by the mall was illegal apart from a refund of the Rs. 20 collected from the petitioner.

A similar petition has been moved by a social worker Bosco Louis, and this matter is pending consideration before another bench of Justice P.V. Kunhikrishnan. 

Case Title: Pauly Vadakkan v. Lulu International Shopping Mall Pvt Ltd.

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