Global and luxury brands line up in Pune
With investment pouring in from global players, Pune is all set to become one of the best shopping centres in India
There have been some complaints Ćled with consumer forums against mall operators for parking fee being levied. One such instance is of Kerala, where the consumer disputes redressal forum (CDRF) directed the mall operator to deposit the parking fees collected by them. However, this order of CDRF was stayed by the Kerala High Court. In their petition, the mall authorities contended that there is no provision in building rules which states that parking space to be provided as per the rules should be given free of charge to anyone. Notably, CDRF’s order had concluded that the collection of parking fee is a restrictive trade practice as per Consumer Protection Act. However, the mall authorities petitioned that levying of parking fee cannot be considered as a restrictive trade practice. If it has to come under clause (b), somebody should have adopted a trade practice which makes the buying of a good or hiring of a service as a condition precedent to buying goods or hiring a service. Here, nobody insists that if one has to avail any goods or service from the mall, one has to bring a car and park the same in the parking lot and shall pay a parking fee as a condition precedent, they said.
In Delhi also, municipal corporations have been ordering malls to not collect parking fees. Those malls that have taken some beneĆt from the development authority or Municipal Corporation on the basis of the promise to provide free parking may be asked by civic authorities to desist from charging parking fees. It depends on the contract such as approved development plan or other agreements between the mall owners and the civic authorities and if such document provides that no parking fees can be levied then such activities can be prohibited. Malls that have not represented that it will not charge any parking fee and have a valid license to operate commercial parking spaces will have no effect and in case it is being prohibited a writ court may give adequate relief to the mall operators.