Chennai theatre directed to pay Rs 30,000

The theatre management had violated the G.O and collected '100 instead of '40 since it is located in a Municipality area.

Chennai: When the fleecing of moviegoers by theatres during the release of films has become the order of the day, a district consumer forum has imposed a fine of Rs 30,000 on the management of a theatre in the city for collecting more for a ticket than the government fixed rate.

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Chengalpattu also directed the management not to indulge in such an unlawful practice. In the petition, V.Mahalingam of Guduvancherry, submitted that he wished to watch the Tamil film Rajini Murugan, starring actors Sivakarthikeyan and Keerthy Suresh in the lead role. The film was released on January 14, 2016. He went to Vettri Theatre, Chromepet at 2.45 pm on January 21 to see the film. He wanted to buy a second-class ticket but found that no second-class tickets were being sold and only first class tickets were available in the theatre.

'He bought a first class ticket for Rs 100. When he saw the ticket, to his shock and surprise, there was no information about the admission fee printed on it. He noted that the State Government in a GO dated May 20, 2009 had fixed the minimum fare of '5 and maximum fare of Rs 40 for the theatre since it is located in a Municipality area. However, the theatre management had violated the G.O and collected Rs 100 instead of Rs 40.

He said denying second-class tickets to the viewers, charging exorbitant process and not mentioning of the admission fee in the ticket were against the law and against the rights of the consumers. The theatre management was adopting unlawful, deceptive and unfair trade practices, thereby violating the rights of the consumers.

The complainant sent a legal notice to the management on January 26, 2016 calling upon them to pay compensation. As there was no response, he filed the petition. The theatre management had not replied and the order was given ex-parte.

The bench comprising President K.Sivananthajothi, members K.Prameela and D. Babu Varadharajan said there is no doubt that the opposite party committed deficiency in service and negligence.

"The non-mentioning of the rate of ticket is unethical business tactic and unfair trade practice. The theatre management is duty bound to issue cinema ticket by mentioning the rate on the ticket in accordance with the law and rules.

Directing the management to pay a compensation of Rs 30,000 including a cost of Rs 5,000, the bench directed the management to mention the rate in the cinema ticket and discontinue the unfair trade practice.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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