Nation Current Affairs 17 Dec 2021 HC directs AP to all ...

HC directs AP to allow JC fix cinema ticket rates in consultation with stakeholders

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | DC CORRESPONDENT
Published Dec 17, 2021, 12:16 am IST
Updated Dec 17, 2021, 7:10 am IST
The Andhra Pradesh High Court has directed the state government to constitute a committee headed by principal secretary, home, as per its earlier order, to fix rates of admission to cinema theaters. (DC Photo))
 The Andhra Pradesh High Court has directed the state government to constitute a committee headed by principal secretary, home, as per its earlier order, to fix rates of admission to cinema theaters. (DC Photo))

Vijayawada: The Andhra Pradesh High Court has directed the state government to constitute a committee headed by principal secretary, home, as per its earlier order, to fix rates of admission to cinema theaters.

There is the need that the joint collector who is the licensing authority be allowed to fix rates in consultation with stakeholders, the court said.

A division bench of Chief Justice PK Mishra and Justice Satyanarayana Murthy heard the government appeal on a single judge interim order on GO35 here on Thursday. The court observed that the interests of cine-goers with regard to rates of admission into cinema theaters were of top priority.

The court asked both the state government and the stakeholders to arrive at a decision on rates of admission and advised them not to create a situation wherein the court would have to fix the rates of admission.

In some critical observations, the court said that it was at the time of release of a new film that the issue of fixing rates of admission was coming before the court. The court was being involved in the conflict of interest between the government and the film exhibitors, it noted.

The court said procedural lapses were occurring during the fixing of rates of admission into cinema theaters and asked the state government as to why it failed to comply with its earlier order in the constitution of a committee headed by principal secretary, home, to fix rates.

It said there should not be more liberty to exhibitors to fix high rates, and opined that such a move could cause loss to the theaters.

The court allowed the interim order issued earlier by the single judge Justice Manavendranath Roy on fixing rates of admission to be in vogue and adjourned the case for next hearing on Dec. 20.

Advocate general Sriram told the court that though a committee was constituted by the principal secretary, home, the chief secretary was in the committee and hence the principal secretary was not heading it and he was only the member convener of the committee.

He submitted that based on the single judge interim order, some cinema theaters raised the ticket rates exorbitantly and sought a direction from the court that the exhibitors could fix rates only after taking permission from the licensing authority.

Petitioners’ counsel Adinarayana argued that the GO 35 issued by the state government was against the earlier orders issued by the court. The committee constituted to fix rates of admission was not headed by the principal secretary, home. He said the stakeholders were not accommodated in the committee.

He argued that when films were produced by investing huge amount of money, the nominal rates fixed at Rs 10 and Rs 100 would not help the theaters to operate. He appealed to the court to allow the exhibitors to collect rates of admission proposed to the committee until a decision is taken by the court on the state government's appeal.

Three writ petitions on GO35 were filed in the court with 300 petitioners.

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