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Karnataka High Court Refuses To Entertain Plea For Free Car Parking Space In Malls, Multiplexes

Mustafa Plumber
14 Jun 2021 12:48 PM GMT
Karnataka High Court Refuses To Entertain Plea For Free Car Parking Space In Malls, Multiplexes
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"Somebody incurs a cost for maintaining the parking space at a cinema hall. How can it be free?", the bench asked.

The Karnataka High Court on Monday refused to entertain a petition filed by a social activist seeking directions to the authorities to ensure that Commercial Complexes (Malls), do not collect parking fee/charges from their customers/visitors. A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj allowed the counsel appearing for petitioner Dinesh Kalahalli to...

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The Karnataka High Court on Monday refused to entertain a petition filed by a social activist seeking directions to the authorities to ensure that Commercial Complexes (Malls), do not collect parking fee/charges from their customers/visitors.

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj allowed the counsel appearing for petitioner Dinesh Kalahalli to withdraw the petition. The plea claimed that collection of parking fees by commercial complexes is opposed to law and contrary to building bye-laws framed under the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act.

However, on the previous hearing the court had observed "Counsel appearing for the petitioner is unable to show that there is any provision in the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike Building Bye-Laws, 2003 which mandates that the commercial complexes should not only provide adequate parking space as per Bye-Law No. 16, but those parking spaces should be made available free of cost, as a matter of right, to the customers who visit the commercial complexes." It had accordingly suggested that it was not inclined to grant any relief it had granted time till today to the counsel for seeking instructions.

During the hearing, the court had said "Show us the law on the point that says members of the public should be provided free parking in malls." Advocate RAGHU PRASAD B S appearing for the petitioner had contended that under the byelaws it was required for commercial establishments to provide parking space. If a customer visits the mall and makes a purchase on showing of the bill, parking fee should be waived off.

However, the bench had observed "You are not being forced to go to the mall, it is not a public property it is a private property. The provisions of the BBMP act provide only for providing parking spaces at commercial establishments. That does not confer a right on third parties to go and park their vehicles."

Citing the example of a cinema hall where patrons visit to see a movie the court said the car is safe when it is parked at the cinema hall. "Somebody incurs a cost for maintaining the parking space at a cinema hall. How can it be free?"

It added "The Basic concept of writ of mandamus is that you should show there is a legal obligation, providing free parking cannot be a legal obligation, it can amount only to be a commercial transaction."

The counsel then suggested that persons visiting the high court including advocates are provided parking space which is free of cost. To which Justice Govindaraj had said "The parking facility at city civil court is only for advocates and not free, and litigants are made to park their vehicles outside."

In 2019, the Gujarat High Court had ruled that malls and multiplexes should not collect parking fees as they are under a statutory obligation to provide car parking space.


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