Legal challenge filed by NBS sees High Court quashing Parking meter by-laws

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The New Building Society Limited (NBS) has been successful in its bid to have the by-laws governing the controversial parking meter project rolled out by the Mayor and City Councillors of Georgetown quashed in the High Court.

On Friday, Justice Naresh Harnanan ruled that the procedure used to bring into effect the by-laws was breached, resulting in them being invalid.

The case, filed in February of this year by the NBS, sought to challenge the legality of the city’s metered parking by-laws.

On January 23, Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan signed the by-laws that were approved at the December 13, 2016 Statutory Meeting of the Council.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NBS, Anil Kishun, noted in an affidavit that the approval granted was unlawful “in that it was done in breach of the Municipal and District Councils Act” and is therefore “null and void and of no legal effect.”

He outlined that the notice of intention to apply for the approval of the minister in regard to any by-law must be published in the Official Gazette not less than 14 days before the application is made.

Kishun, in his affidavit, stated that this was not done, and that the provisions of Section 305 of the Act were not followed, and the minister’s approval was granted unlawfully, unreasonably, without or in excess of jurisdiction, and in breach of the statute.

“The approval of the by-laws 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 in some cases are prohibitive, or being guilty of a criminal offence which attracts a prison term upon summary conviction,” the affidavit stated.

This ruling comes after a new committee was formed to renegotiate the contract with Smart City Solutions (SCS), and was at a point of inking a new agreement. Under the proposal, persons would be entitled to pay $100 per hour and could park in any space, as opposed to the initial system where they paid for space and time.

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