The Kerala High Court on Tuesday, December 22, issued notice to the state government, a municipality and the Lulu International Shopping Mall at Ernakulam, on a plea that the mall was illegally collecting parking fees from customers. Justice N Nagaresh issued notice to the state government, the Kalamassery Municipality and the shopping mall, seeking their stand on the petition, which contended that the mall's management was responsible for providing free parking to customers.
Petitioner Pauly Vadakkan, a film director, moved the High Court after Rs 20 as parking fees was allegedly collected from him when he had visited the mall on December 2. Vadakkan has 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 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 filed through advocate Jomy K Jose claimed.
During the hearing on Tuesday, Jose argued that the mall does not have the license to collect parking fees from customers. However, this contention was opposed by Lulu's lawyer, who said that the mall has a license.
The petition has claimed that a parking fee was being collected by the mall since 2010 and thus the same needs to be recovered by the government.
It has sought a declaration that collection of parking fees by the mall was illegal and a refund of the Rs 20 collected from the petitioner.