PIL seeks action on sale of items beyond MRP in halls

A public interest litigation petition has been filed in the Madras High Court against the sale of food products beyond their maximum retail price at cinema theatres. The petition also wanted the practice of frisking cinemagoers to be dispensed with, besides insisting that theatres collect only government-fixed charges for vehicle parking.

Violation of norms

Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and P. Rajamanickam on Wednesday directed the Additional Government Pleader E. Manoharan to take notice on behalf of the Home Secretary and ascertain the response of the official by February 20. Advocate S. Natarajan of Pallikaranai had filed the PIL petition accusing most theatres of violating government norms.

The petitioner pointed out that the government had issued an order on November 30, 2017, stating that cinema theatres in corporations and municipalities could charge a maximum of ₹20 for parking cars, ₹10 for two-wheelers and ₹5 for bicycles. Yet, most theatres were continuing to collect exorbitant charges, he said.

Similarly, eatables were sold at exorbitant rates inside the theatres and moviegoers were virtually forced to buy those food items, he said.

The petitioner also took strong exception to the practice of frisking cinemagoers with the assistance of security staff.

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