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The charges levied under MCD Act for unauthorized parking is applicable for hawking and not for illegal parking in a public place: High Court of Delhi

The charges levied for unauthorized parking would be applicable only in case there is menace of encroachment on municipal land by various squatters, hawkers, shopkeepers, rehriwalah and does not have any application insofar illegal parking of a vehicle on a public street or municipal land is concerned. The charges deal with illegal encroachment by shopkeepers/hawkers who encroach upon public streets as well as municipal land for the purposes of hawking or exposing for sale as mentioned in Section 322 of the MCD Act and not to a case of alleged illegal parking in a public place and the same was upheld by High Court of Delhi through the learned bench led by JUSTICE SANJEEV SACHDEVA in the case of SMT. SUNITA BHALLA vs. SOUTH DELHI MUNICIPAL CORPORATION [W.P.(C) 2178/2022] on 03.03.2022.

The facts of the case are that the late husband of the petitioner was the registered owner of the vehicle, RTV mini bus and after his demise, the vehicle was parked in the authorized parking lot of Metro Station, Dwarka, Sector -14. Petitioner and her family members went to their parents’ house in Chhattisgarh for performing of last rites. When petitioner returned, she came to know that the vehicle had been removed from the parking lot by the officials of the respondent. She visited the office of the respondent alongwith her son seeking release of the vehicle. However, respondent demanded a huge amount as charges for release of the vehicle and since she had lost her husband, she could not deposit the same.

The petitioner’s counsel contended that demand of charges is illegal and contrary to law. The petitioner repeatedly visited the office of the respondent but the vehicle has not been released and the demand is in several lakhs of rupees.

The respondent’s counsel submitted that the parking site was an authorized parking lot. Since the vehicle was an abandoned vehicle, respondent/Corporation in terms of the directions issued by judgment Umesh Sharma vs. Government of NCT of Delhi was authorized to remove the said abandoned vehicle from the public place and consequently, the said vehicle was removed. It was further submitted that the charges levied for unauthorized parking and for return of the vehicle after removal are in accordance with the circular dated 29.08.2018.

The Court held that respondents to forthwith release the vehicle as there is no material placed on record by the respondent to show that any public notice was placed in the parking lot or any communication issued to the petitioner that the parking lot was no longer a free parking place and charges would be levied for such parking.

The Court observed that, “the charges levied for unauthorized parking would be applicable only in case there is menace of encroachment on municipal land by various squatters, hawkers, shopkeepers, rehriwalah and does not have any application insofar illegal parking of a vehicle on a public street or municipal land is concerned. The charges deal with illegal encroachment by shopkeepers/hawkers who encroach upon public streets as well as municipal land for the purposes of hawking or exposing for sale as mentioned in Section 322 of the MCD Act and not to a case of alleged illegal parking in a public place.”

Click here to read the Judgment

Judgment reviewed by – Shristi Suman

 

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