Hyderabad: The Hyderabad District Consumer Disputes Appeals Board ordered INOX Kachiguda to pay a fine of Rs 1.05 lakh for not starting the film at the time stated on the tickets.
The commission asked the multiplex to pay Rs.1 lakh to the police commissioner of Hyderabad city as punitive damages, Rs.5,000 as compensation to the plaintiff for causing inconvenience and mental agony, and Rs.5,000 to complainant as litigation cost.
Vijay Gopal visited INOX to watch the Telugu movie “Game Over” on June 22, 2019. The post showed the movie was due to start at 4.30pm but the multiplex started the movie at 4.45pm. It lasted about 15 to 20 minutes. advertisements and other slides.
Vijay approached the theater manager and recorded his grievance in the complaints register kept by the theater authorities. Due to the attitude of the theater authorities, he wasted precious time and the theater is making money by showing advertisements and generating higher income by showing such advertisements, he alleged. He also approached the Hyderabad Police Commissioner, but the latter refused to press charges.
The multiplex said that according to the Telangana Cinema Regulation Act 1955, it is a long-standing practice in cinemas around the world, including India, to run commercials before starting the film. . He also claimed the right to freedom of commercial expression and the right to carry on an activity as guaranteed by article 19 (1) of the Constitution. She added that the showing of advertisements and slides in cinemas is recognized by law as such.
Observing the multiplex argument, the committee said that there is no doubt that the rights of every citizen of this country are protected by guaranteed fundamental rights. “However, with reasonable restrictions, they will be implemented without any discrimination. In this case, the reasonable restrictions are the regulatory acts under which the multiplex operates. violating the regulatory texts adopted in this regard ”, declared the commission.
The multiplex also stated that in accordance with the license conditions mentioned in the 1970 Telangana Theater Regulation Rules Rule 41, the licensee, at each performance, must, for five minutes, show how the slides provided by the licensing authority are free, as the authority may order.
The commission on this argument pointed out that the multiplex admitted that it filters commercial advertisements for its maintenance and to generate income. “The showing of commercial advertisements, contrary to the rules and regulations, constitutes an unfair commercial practice and a failure of the multiplex towards its viewers by wasting their time and money. Consumer rights include that consumers have every right to know and be informed about the product and the services that will be provided to them, ”the commission said.
He added that mentioning the time of the show at 4:30 p.m. and starting the film at 4:45 p.m. was flawed and unfair.
The Commission asked INOX to pay compensation of Rs. 5,000 to Vijay for causing mental agony and inconvenience caused and Rs. 5,000 for litigation costs. He also ordered the multiplex to pay Rs. 1 lakh to the licensing authority, the Hyderabad Police Commissioner as punitive damages under section 14 (1) (d) of the Consumer Protection Act 1986.
The commission asked the theater authorities to indicate the real time on cinema tickets and ordered them to put an end to the unfair commercial practices mentioned in section 14 of the Consumer Protection Act 1986.
The Police Commissioner was tasked with using the money to promote safety and security measures to be taken during disasters and fires in theaters and shopping centers and to alert and educate the public.
Vijay hoped theaters would be more responsible from now on and said Hyderabad police were also ignoring the implementation of some of the law’s provisions. He said that with the order, he expects the Hyderabad Police Commissioner to act on the issue and protect consumers from harassment.
He added: “But the most important point this case emphasizes is how good everyone in India feels about wasting other people’s time. Because of this, people are slowly being conditioned to delay. It starts off as two or five minutes late and then goes to 15-20 minutes late. “