The Kerala High Court said prima facie believed that malls don’t have the right to collect parking fees. It asked the Kalamassery municipality whether it had issued any license to the Lulu International shopping mall at Ernakulam for the same. As per the Building Rules, a sufficient area for parking space is necessary for constructing a building. Parking space is part of the building. The building permit is issued because there will be parking space. Based on this undertaking, the building was constructed. After constructing the building, whether the building owner can collect the parking fee is the question. Prima facie, I believe that it is not possible,” the court said in its order.
The court has asked the municipality to file a statement about its issue.
The court has asked the municipality to file a statement about its stand regarding the issue and posted the matter for further hearing on January 28. An additional collection of the parking fee by the respondent (Lulu Mall) for parking vehicles in the area earmarked in the building permit for parking will be subject to the result of the final decision of this writ petition. But I make it clear that they can collect the parking fee at their risk,” the court said.
Petitioner Pauly Vadakkan, a film director, has contended that the mall’s management provided free parking to customers. Vadakkan moved to the high court after ₹20 as parking fees were collected from him when he had visited the mall on December 2. He had alleged that the mall staff closed the exit gates and threatened him when he initially refused to pay the amount.
The parking area in a commercial complex is a public place meant for the customers visiting that commercial complex, and the 1st respondent (Lulu) in no way can collect parking fees for the same,” it was contended. However, this contention was opposed by Lulu’s lawyer, who said that the mall has a license.