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Legal topic: Criminal Acts,FIR | City: Navi Mumbai | Posted on 18 Sep 2017
 

Illegal collection of parking fees at malls, Shopping Complexes, Theatres and private hospitals. Actually, when these malls proposed a plan for their construction, they had to show something beneficial for the public; mostly they have shown free parking in their plans in order to get permission for their plan. Also the parking lots are shown as ‘common areas’ in the building plans of these complexes, so they cannot use the same area to make money by charging for parking. But later on, to make more money they started charging for the same parking area which was shown free at the starting phase of their plan.

                                         

There have been numerous instances of FIR being lodged at places like Hyderabad, Pune and Gurgaon but in a big metro city like Mumbai or Navi Mumbai there is no action taken as yet. Whenever we go to any mall in any place be it big Metro city or any small town, they charge for the parking area. Parking services were a municipality responsibility, and the private parking lots were operating without sanction from the corporation.

 

I think Municipal Corporation should take strong actions to stop such illegal activities. It will be beneficial for the people and the state itself. Numerous prestigious newspapers have carried out article to this effect but we don’t see any results happening.

 

The establishments are making profit from the ignorance of the people; they are looting them. The civic body should check what kind of agreement they have with contractors who are allowed to manage this activity. Moreover, how is this amount accounted for?

In a day, there are thousands of people who visit malls and multiplexes, thus the amount they make from parking charges would be huge. 

 

Many government offices also charge parking fees from visitors. Commercial establishments are private property. There are no policies or rules regarding charging parking fees from visitors. If there is a law, it should be equal for all. There are many government offices like the RTO, Passport office and Collectors office where visitors are charged for parking. If we oppose private establishments for this, even government offices must be told to stop charging for parking.

 

Malls and multiplexes say they charge fees because people otherwise misuse the covered parking they provide. Everything in malls and multiplexes is already overpriced. Hence, it is incorrect to make people pay for parking too.

 

It is true that the parking lot is not part of the FSI and cannot be used for a commercial activity that includes charging a fee for parking. The parking space is meant for visitors who come to the commercial establishment; it is only for that purpose and must be provided for free. If these establishments are charging customers for parking, it is against the law because the government has not given them permission to do so.

 

People should be made aware of this and they must question the BMC on how it is allowing this activity if there is no such provision. 

 

In regards to the above under IPC 418,188 and 420 there has been a FIR lodged in Hyderabad Madhapur police station on 26th August 2017. In this regard there is a judgment from the High Court of Hyderabad dated May 2, 2003, declared the parking fee to be illegal (In Ch. Madan Mohan and others Vs Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad) 

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