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May 8, 2019

PHC declares parking fee on Peshawar Cantt roads illegal

Peshawar

May 8, 2019

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has declared the parking fee on roads in the Cantonment Board area, especially in the Saddar Bazaar as illegal and directed the Chief Executive Officer, Cantonment Board Peshawar to take action against the private contractors collecting illegal parking fee from vehicles parked on the roadsides.

“The collection of parking fee from the general public on roadsides is illegal. Register cases against the private contractors if [they are] found collecting parking fee from vehicles in Saddar Bazaar and surrounding areas of the Cantonment Board,” a division bench comprising Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan and Justice Muhammad Ayub ruled as it issued a direction to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Cantonment Board Peshawar.

Earlier, the court summoned CEO Cantonment Board Peshawar, Rana Khawar Iftikhar to the court.

During the arguments, Rana Khawar Iftikhar submitted before the bench that in compliance with the court order he had given special directives to car parking contractors to print on the back of the parking receipt that contractors would be held responsible if a car is damaged or stolen. He claimed that the court order on parking fee is being implemented.

However, Justice Qaiser Rashid questioned his claim that illegal parking has been banned and the court order is being complied with in the Cantonment area. “I got a parking fee receipt from a contractor when I parked my vehicle outside a shopping plaza in Saddar Bazaar,” the judge pointed out.

Justice Qaiser Rashid remarked that collecting parking fee from vehicles parked on the roadsides is like robbing the general public, who are already facing one of the highest inflation in the history of the country.

The court ordered the CEO Rana Khawar Iftikhar to establish proper car parking lots in the Cantonment instead of turning the roadsides into car parking spaces.

The bench asked the CEO to visit the main Saddar Bazaar without showing his identity and nab the private contractors collecting illegal car parking fee from the vehicles parked on the roadsides. The court directed him to submit a report to the court today about illegal parking fee.

The bench was hearing a writ petition of the residents of Peshawar including Muhammad Ibrahim against the Town-1 administration for collecting parking fee on the roadsides outside their houses situated around the Heritage Trail and Food Street.

During the hearing, Sabahuddin Khattak, legal advisor to Town-1 administration, submitted that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had established the Heritage Trail and Food Street and then issued a letter to the town administration to collect security fee from the visitors.

However, Justice Qaiser Rashid observed that it is astonishing that the Food Street was established outside petitioners’ houses and now they are asked to pay the fee for parking their vehicles on the roadsides.

The court directed the Town-1 administration to collect car parking fee from the visitors only at evening time and exempt the residents from paying the parking fee.

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