On Friday, the Kerala High Court stated, "Prima facie, I am of the opinion that the mall does not have the right to collect the parking fee." The court made this observation while hearing a petition alleging that the well-known LuLu International Shopping Mall in Ernakulam charges its customers for parking. The next hearing, in this case, will take place on January 28. The Kerala High Court inquired of the Kalamassery municipality whether it had granted a license to the Lulu International Shopping Mall in Ernakulam for the same.
According to Justice PV Kunhikrishnan, the mall was illegally charging customers a parking fee. However, the court has not ordered the mall to suspend parking fees. According to the rules, the parking space is actually a part of the building, according to the court. A building permit is issued with the understanding that there will be parking space. This undertaking serves as the foundation for the construction of the building.
The question is whether the owner can charge the parking fee after construction is completed. The court said that “prima facie, in my opinion, malls cannot charge car parking fees. Now, I want to know the stand of the municipality on this issue”.
The Court ordered the Municipality to file a statement stating its firm position on whether a parking fee can be charged for the required parking space under the building rules.
The petitioners claimed that LuLu Mall was charging parking fees without authority. Respondents' senior advocate S Sreekumar argued that the license was granted under section 447 of the Kerala Municipality Act. The next hearing, in this case, will take place on January 28.
Pauly Vadakkan, a film director, has filed this petition. In fact, when he went to the mall on December 2, he was charged Rs 20 as a parking fee. In his plea, Vadakkan claimed that when he initially refused to pay the parking fee, mall employees locked the exit gate and threatened him.