Malabar Hill society moves Bombay HC against BMC’s new parking policy

Malabar Hill society moves Bombay HC against BMC's new parking policy
The absurdity of the punishment is evident from the fact that parking on the street now attracts more fine than negligent driving or driving under influence, the petition says (Representational Image, Courtesy: Khalid Shaikh)

After protests failed to deter BMC from its new parking policy, a housing society in Malabar Hill has moved the Bombay High Court against the “excessively harsh” rules about towing and parking.

On July 7, the civic body implemented its new parking policy, under which vehicles parked on roads outside authorised parking lots are towed and fined in the range of Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000.

Taking strong objection to the policy, Chandralok ‘B’ Building CHS in Malabar Hill and its resident Jignesh Shah filed a petition with the Bombay HC through solicitor Vikram Trivedi, demanding that the BMC circular be struck down.

The building reportedly has around 70 cars, all of which are parked on the road outside the society as it does not have any parking facility. The building was constructed in 1961, when the civic body did not mandate the creation of parking space.

The petitioner termed the BMC’s decision as “unconstitutional” and called it “an exercise of power to hold citizens to ransom and forever keep them in terror only to enhance its revenue”.

The 1,000% rise in fine lacks rationale and it should be held as illegal, it added.

“The absurdity of the punishment sought to be imposed is evident from the fact that parking on the street now attracts more fine than negligent driving or driving under influence,” said the petition.

The administration, having done nothing to provide adequate parking facilities, cannot now seek to punish vehicle owners, the petition stated.

It also argued that the civic body was not legally empowered to impose these fines on unattended vehicles, which fell under the domain of the Motor Vehicles Act.

“Once Parliament has enacted such a special law, even the state cannot enact any laws on the same subject, except under the powers granted under the Act itself,’’ the petition says.

The petition was filed before the Bombay HC on Wednesday and is likely to come up for hearing next week.

Meanwhile, at least two other housing societies in South Mumbai have staged protests against the new parking policy.

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