Hyderabad: The Hyderabad High Court on Thursday found fault with the circular issued by the Telangana Legal and Metrology department applying provisions of Legal Metrology Act 2009 and Packaged Commodity Rules in relation to non-packaged food supplied and sold in multiplexes and cinema theatres.
The judge in sarcasm said if the court allowed these conditions, then even the tea sold shall have toll free number.
Stating that when the bills are being issued for every non-packaged items, the judge questioned the logic in pasting the stickers separately.
The judge also found fault with the condition that only branded items have to be put on sale and said that one viewer may ask for the Aquafina water and another may ask for Kinley and it would be for the theatres to decide the brands to sell on their premises and how could the authorities decide what was to be sold and what was not. The counsel for the government submitted that they were implementing the rules which are in the Act.
When the judge asked the counsel to show the provision which empowered the authorities to put such conditions, the counsel replied that it was after receiving complaints from the people that food items in theatres were selling at exorbitant rates that the authorities had decided to strictly implement the provisions.
While questioning why they had not mentioned the complaint of the people in the circular, the judge also said that all the conditions in the circular were contrary to the law and the court would not allow implementing conditions whi-ch were not in the Act.
The judge said that he will issue orders on Monday.
The court cautioned the authorities not to show over-enthusiasm and not to try to enforce the provisions which are not in law. Justice M.S. Ramachandra Rao while dealing with the petition by Multiplex Association of India and PVR Ltd challenging the circular issued on July 20, 2018 pointed out that the circular issued by the authorities was not in accordance with the law and the authorities had no power to issue restriction with regard to non-packaged food items. The judge wondered at the condition of having stickers indicating the weight, rate and toll free number on paper plates while selling non-packaged samosas.
The judge felt that if this condition was allowed to be implemented, ultimately the cost for printing of stickers would be borne by the cine viewers. The counsel for the petitioners told the court that they had no objection with the conditions on the packaged food, but it was impossible to implement the regulations on non-packaged items.