Hyderabad: Infosys has been issued with a show-cause notice and a fine of Rs 50000 by the Pocharam Municipality after a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in July for the illegal collection of parking fees from employees.
The PIL filed by Vijay Gopal, an anti-corruption activist, stated that Infosys was extorting money from its employees under the guise of encouraging public transport. The by-laws of Hyderabad’s municipalities, however, prohibits a commercial building from collecting parking fees from its visitors.
“A complaint was filed with the Municipal Commissioner precisely 11 months ago but no action was taken even after continuous reminders and inquiries. It was only after the filing of the PIL that the municipality took charge,” said Gopal in conversation with Siasat.com.
The branch of the company located in Pocharam, on the outskirts of the city, is spread out over 420 acres and was acquired at a throwaway price from the government of Telangana under a special economic zone (SEZ).
The company charged its employees Rs 500 per month for cars and Rs 250-300 per month for bikes under the pretext of encouraging the use of public transport.
The company has been violating Section 24 (Promoters or the owners of apartments shall not sell or lease out or misuse any common areas and facilities) of the Telangana State Apartment Act 1987, alongside section 172(10) of the Telangana State Municipalities Act 2019.
The PIL has been filed in the high court of Telangana against this illegal practice and is awaiting its first date of hearing due to prioritisation of other cases during the COVID-19 pandemic and other pressing issues.
An order passed in 2018 under the Municipal Administration and Urban Development Principal (MAUD), allows malls and multiplexes across the state to charge visitors small amounts as parking fees for a stay beyond an hour. The fee is excused on presenting a shopping bill from the mall/multiplex.