Ankit Sharma Sharma
Green tea Addict | A Tree Hugger | Born for Change
On August 2, the Legal Metrology Department inspected 20 multiplexes to check if they are selling the food and beverages at a regulated price inside the premises of the theatre in Hyderabad. Out of 20 theatres, 18 theatres were charged for not complying with the regulations levied by Legal Metrology Department for packaged commodities, and a total of 54 cases were filed.
Seven teams headed by Assistant Controllers Bhaskar Reddy, Jaganmohan Reddy, Vijayasarathi, Nirmal Kumar, Rajeshwar, Shivanand with 30 other members conducted these raids and caught the multiplexes exploiting the ordinary men.
Officials said that two cases were registered in Prasads Imax while six cases were registered in GVK one in Banjara Hills. Three cases were also registered in PVR-Icon situated in Madhapur. Four cases were registered against Cinepolis in Malkajgiri while another three cases were registered in Asian Radhika, near ECIL, as reported by The News Minute
Replying to the customers’ complains of charging more than MRP prices on beverages and food items by the cinema halls and multiplexes, Legal Metrology Department issued a circular a week ago to all cinema halls and multiplexes, stating packaged food items should not be sold at more than MRP.
“We have decided to carry out the raids on prominent multiplexes to see whether the order is being followed or not. The raids will be carried out in GHMC and HMDA jurisdiction on Friday also,” a senior official said. “Some of the multiplexes are not only charging excess rates but are also providing a lesser quantity of eatables to the cinegoers,” a senior official said, as reported by Times of India.
The team also instructed the cinema halls to print essential details like weight, price, quantity, manufacturing date and expiry date on the food and beverages. Violation for the first time will result in Rs 25,000 penalty, and the penalty will increase to Rs. 50,000 in case of a second violation. If the infringement is repeated for the third time the fine will be of Rs. 1 lakh and six months of jail time, News 18 reported
According to the Legal Metrology Department Act, manufacturers should print product name, address, manufacturing date, expiry date, weight and MRP with customer care number on the packaged item.
The counsel of cinema halls’ argues that the restraint on the unpackaged items cannot be under the regulation directed in the circular.
Legal Metrology Counsel G Jyoti Kiran urged the court to look at the intent behind the circular. “We have to protect the consumer from exploitation,” she said. “Loopholes in the law cannot be a ground for the exploiters to escape,” she said.
Given the fact that it is not the first time any theatre found engaged in violation of MRP rules. Last year in April 2017 a guy named Vijay Gopal had filed a complaint against INOX in Hyderabad. That time also Hyderabad Consumer Forum charged a penalty of Rs. 5000 to the theatre authority and even asked to pay Rs. 1000 to the activist.
Consumers can register their complaints at a toll-free number, 1800 425 00333 or on Whatsapp number 7330774444.
Also published on Medium.
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