New Building Society challenges parking meter bylaws

Last Updated on Thursday, 9 February 2017, 17:56 by Denis Chabrol

The New Building Society (NBS) is challenging the legality of the parking meter bylaws that have been approved by Minister of Communities (Local Government), Ronald Bulkan.

NBS’ Chief Executive Officer, Anil Kishun said in an affidavit in support of motion that the parking meters has badly affected his financial institution’s customers and employees. “It has caused us great loss and hardship. The approval of the Bylaws has put into operation a parking meter system which restrains and prevents our employees and customers from gaining access to our establishment without incurring large fees which is in some cases prohibitive or being guilty of a criminal offence which attracts a prison term upon summary conviction,” he said.

In court papers seen by Demerara Waves Online News, Justice Brassington Reynolds has ordered Bulkan to show cause why his green-light of the bylaws should not be quashed.

“It is hereby ordered that an order or rule nisi certiorari be issued to directed to Minister of Communitues to show cayuse why a writ of certiorari should not be issued to quash his approval and/or decision to approve the parking meter bylaws made under the Municipal and District Councils Act, Chapter 28:01 made on or about the 23rd day of January, 2017 in that the said approval or decision to approve was of no legal effect and was made unlawfully and in breach  of statute,” the order states.

The order was issued to the Minister of Communities and the Town Clerk of the City of Georgetown, Royston King.

The case comes up before Justice Reynolds on February 20, 2017.

Kishun said he has been advised by Senior Counsel, Ashton Chase that the notice of intention to apply for approval of the minister of any by-law made under the Act must be published by the Official Gazette not less than 14 days before the application is so made. “This was not done,” states Kishun, adding that since the mandatory statutory provisions were not followed and therefore the approval and/or decision of Bulkan to approve the bylaws “is ultra vires, null and void and of no legal effect. It was made unlawfully, unreasonably, without or in excess of jurisdiction and in breach of statute.”

The NBS boss said his entity had spent GYD$10 million on developing parking areas close to the  financial institution’s headquarters at North Road and Avenue of the Republic during the construction of the building, with the approval of the Municipal Local Government. “The Mayor and City Council through the Town Clerk and the Mayor were made aware of these things and offered no objection to the works and upgrading done thereto and for which the applicants bore full expenditure,” he said.

The CEO said the parking meter system would very likely badly affect NBS which has more than 10,000 mortgagors who repay loans in monthly installments. “Those whose parking facilities are being taken away can very well be engaged in delayed payments and a build up of arrears which will put a strain and loss in the liquidity of the applicants,” said Kishun.

In a separate case, Justice Priya Sewnarine- Beharry on January 11, 2017 is hearing an application by NBS for an injunction against the Town Clerk blocking him pr anyone he may permit from setting up parking meters in the vicinity of Avenue of the Republic and North Road.

NBS wants the High Court to award damages in excess of GYD$250,000

Sewnarine-Beharry has dismissed an ex-parte application for an injunction. Since then , steps have been taken to have the matter addressed by both parties.