Action on theaters charging extra! Madras High Court orders Tamil Nadu Government

(This article is authored by Alar)

The Madras High Court has ordered the Tamil Nadu government to continue monitoring movie theatres around the state to ensure that ticket prices are not inflated. In response to complaints that cinemas in Tamil Nadu charge exorbitant fees when new films are released during the festival season, the Madras High Court has ordered action against theatres that charge excessive rates. It's worth noting that Recent Pongal films Varisu and Thunivu FDFS tickets were reportedly sold for high cost, with several theatres charging Rs 750 movie tickets that initially cost Rs 400.

Today on February 15th the Madras High Court heard the plea filed by Devarajan, who had previously filed a complaint stating that Rajnikanth blockbuster Kabali, Suriya starrer 'Singam 3' and Vijay starrer 'Bairavaa' were released during the festival season and that cinemas charged hefty prices. In its 2017 judgement, the High Court had stated that the provision could not stay merely on paper because the aim of determining the maximum cost was to guarantee that the public had access to entertainment at fair rates.

In that appeal, he stated that after filing a complaint with the police and government officials, no action was taken. Accordingly, the court has directed the government of Tamil Nadu to take action against cinemas that charge more than the government-set cost. The court has also directed the government of Tamil Nadu to monitor ticket pricing for major film releases.

Justice Anita Sumanth ruled that the government must find a way to get back the money theatre owners have already made off of overcharging customers. According to a 2015 government order, the highest price that movie theatres in the state can charge per ticket is 120. The administration informed the court that the sole exception to this cap is IMAX theatres, which may charge up to 480 per ticket.

"Contents of orders dated 17.03.2016 and 19.06.2017 are reiterated. The State shall continue with the measures for monitoring of ticket collection. A suitable decision also be taken on the fate of excess charges found to have been collected by the cinema theatres. As on date, the excess charges are retained by the theatre owners and the State only imposes a penalty for the violations detected," the Court ordered.