Malls and multiplexes are now not allowed to charge any fees for the cars parked in their space.
As has been the norm, a fee is often collected from car drivers for parking their cars in the space provided by multiplexes and malls. Sometimes, these fees can amount to a fairly large sum. However, two days ago, the Gujarat High Court regulated that shopping establishments, multiplexes and malls have to supply the parking space to the customers free of charge. This decision has been reached based on the provisions of the Comprehensive General Development Control Regulation 2017 (GDCR).
This decision was made by a bench of Justice Biren Vaishnav and Chief Justice Anant S Dave, based on the provisions in the Gujarat building and town planning laws. These laws regulate that the owners of the buildings should provide parking space for all the customers. “Provide” here means that the parking space should be given free of charge.
Now, all the malls in India have to provide the customers with free parking space.
Last year, because the GCDR did not allow the parking fees, an order has been sent to the mail owners, asking them to stop charging parking fees from the customers. Moreover, the single bench passed a verdict which asked the state government to formulate a policy that rules the parking fees.
As a result, an appeal has been started by some malls including Ruchi Malls Pvt Ltd against this verdict. Under the pressure from the mall owners, last October, the single judge bench decided that the GRCR did not have to make a free parking space mandatory for all malls. Instead, it should issue a guideline for parking fee regulations with some limits.
Nevertheless, the mall owners were still not satisfied with this decision and continued to contest against it by claiming that they could charge for their property use and there should not be any restriction on the parking fees. Nevertheless, unfortunately for them, after considering the whole case, the division bench concluded that no parking fees could be charged by the mall owners at all.