Parking ‘racket’ near South Delhi mall: Court directs police to register FIR

A court here has directed the Delhi Police to register an FIR to unearth the alleged illegal activities, including overcharging and extortion, by a “parking mafia” near a South Delhi mall.

Metropolitan Magistrate Aviral Shukla was hearing an application filed by two advocates under Section 156 (3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) seeking directions to the police for the registration of an FIR against the alleged “parking mafia” near the Select City Walk Mall in Saket here.

Under 156 (3) of the CrPC, a magistrate can direct the officer-in-charge of a police station to investigate a cognisable offence.

According to the application, the “parking mafia” had encroached government land behind the mall, and was “extorting” money from visitors as illegal parking charges.

Noting the police reports, the court said the Investigating Officer (IO) and the Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) concerned had “confirmed” that there was “overcharging” at the parking site which was allotted by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to a private vendor.

“It is further noted that when the allottee of the parking site was called upon to join the inquiry, no one appeared on behalf of the firm. It can also be noted from various replies of the MCD that employees and agents of the allottee have been regularly overcharging and failing to adhere to norms such as wearing proper uniforms,” the court said in a recent order.

It said as per the proofs produced by the complainants, the employees or agents of the allottee firm continued to operate at the parking site despite the cancellation of their allotment by the MCD through an order dated July 17 this year.

The court said the circumstance “prima facie” indicated the commission of cognisable offences by the parking site employees or agents of the allottee firm.

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“It appears that activities involving regular overcharging/forceful overcharging/extortion are being carried out by a racket which does not seem to be bound by any set of rules or regulations and a detailed and prompt investigation shall be required in the present case for revealing all the underlying facts,” the court said.

“Accordingly, the ACP, Sub-division Hauz Khas, is directed to register an FIR under the relevant penal provisions against the accused persons Let the investigation of the present case be undertaken by an independent police officer, not below the rank of an Inspector,” the court added.

Regarding the allegations of bribery and active collusion by the Station House Officer (SHO) concerned, the court said the complainants were at liberty to obtain appropriate legal remedies within the purview of the Prevention of Corruption Act, or other applicable law before the special court concerned.

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