Malls to HC- parking fee to pay security salary, HC reply,’should be levied on shop owners;

Gujarat High Court on Tuesday reserved its verdict in the plea filed by Ahmedabad One mall, during the hearing Mall argued submissions made by the mall that a token amount is charged as parking fee to maintain the facility and pay the salaries of security personnel, and it does not amount to profiteering. The government instead submitted that maintenance of any facility provided by the commercial complex should be levied on the shop owners and not the visitors.
Plea filed by Ahmedabad One mall opposing the directions issued by a single judge bench directing the commercial establishments to provide free parking to visitors for an hour, capping of maximum parking fee, and a direction to the government for framing of a comprehensive parking policy.
Notably, arguments by all the contending parties—state government, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), and Ahmedabad One mall—was completed on Tuesday after which the bench of Acting Chief Justice AS Dave and Justice Biren Vaishnav reserved judgment in the case.
During the arguments on Tuesday, the state government contended that parking is one of the services just like fire safety and it is not included while computing the floor space index. Government pleader Manisha Shah also contended that parking is an integral component when the building permission is granted and therefore, it cannot be converted into a commercial activity.
On the same lines, the counsel for AMC Satyam Chhaya argued that parking is an amenity and cannot be turned into a commercial activity. He submitted that if malls are allowed to continue levying parking fee from visitors, then hospitals and residential buildings might also start levying the same.
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