The Sindh High Court directed the provincial government and authorities in Karachi to explain under what law they were charging citizens for parking.
A division bench headed by Justice Muhammad Iqbal Kalhoro has directed the provincial government, Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s (KMC) director charged parking, District Municipal Corporation (DMC), commissioner Karachi, DIG Traffic and others to file detailed replies on the matter.
Justice Kalhoro was hearing a constitutional petition filed by Khursheed Ahmed challenging the parking fee being collected from motorists in different areas of the city.
A representative of commissioner Karachi conceded that no law existed on any statute book explaining the mode of imposition and collection of parking fees. The bench was informed that the revenue generated from charged parking was spent on repairing roads and streets.
“Which roads and streets are being repaired,” asked Justice Kalhoro observing except for main arteries, every road and street of the city is in shambles.
“Collecting money from citizens in the name of parking is nothing short of extortion,” Justice Kalhoro observed adding that the collection hampers smooth flow of traffic.
He further observed that there was no transparent procedure available for awarding contracts of charged parking and no mechanism for fixing a parking fee.
“The groups are backed by influential people in the provincial and city administration started charged parking wherever they like in the city and nobody can question them while the citizens pay Rs20-30 just to save their time and honour,” observed Justice Kalhoro.
He made it clear to the respondents that if they fail to cite a specific law then the court would not only stop the practice, but also order a thorough inquiry against those who had allowed this illegal practice.
Further hearing in the matter has been deferred till October 29.