The Kerala High Court today declined to pass any interim order putting on hold collection of parking fees by the Lulu International shopping mall at Ernakulam, but reiterated that any amount collected would be at its own risk.

The High Court said that if an order is finally passed that the mall had no permit to collect the parking charges, it will have to return the amounts back to each and every customer.

The observations by Justice P V Kunhikrishnan came during the hearing of two pleas, one of them by film director Pauly Vadakkan, alleging that the mall was illegally collecting parking fees from customers.

During the hearing, Bosco Louis, who had first moved the High Court on this issue, urged the Court to pass an interim order putting on hold the collection of parking fees, saying that the practice has been going on since 2014.

Louis told the Court that if it stays the collection, the mall would place on record the licence or permit it has, if any, for charging parking fees from customers.

He further said that if the practice is not stopped, every other mall in the state would start doing the same.

The Court, however, declined to do so, saying that if the case is finally ruled against the mall it will have to return the collected amounts to each and every person.

With the observation, the Court listed the matter on April 4 for completing the pleadings.

The Court had on a previous date of hearing observed that prima facie malls don't have the right to collect parking fees.

Vadakkan, in his plea, has contended that the mall's management was responsible for providing free parking to customers.

He moved the High Court after Rs 20 was collected from him as parking fees from him when he had visited the mall on December 2 last year.

He has alleged that the mall staff closed the exit gates and threatened him when he initially refused to pay the amount.

Lulu has contended that it has a license for the collection of parking fees.

With PTI inputs