The Hyderabad High Court on Tuesday ordered for the submission of a detailed report from Chittoor Urban SP, on a complaint by a petitioner who said he was facing a threat to his life. Dr Bharadwaja Chakrapani, had earlier moved the court, to highlight hotels atop the temple town of Tirumala, that were fleecing devotees.
The petitioner alleged that hotels charged higher prices than what they displayed on the board. Following this, the bench directed the Executive Officer of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) to file an affidavit explaining the action taken based on complaints by devotees against hoteliers, and also directed the deputy commissioner to appear before the court.
However, the petitioner has alleged that he was being threatened and his life may be in danger. Stating that a man, identified as Dilli Babu Reddy, who was the Editor-in-Chief of a vernacular evening newspaper, had been threatening him, the petitioner filed an additional affidavit with the court.
â€śI submit that Dilli Babu Reddy has visited my house on, 3rd, 9th and 10th of December, 2017 and threatened me. In the words of Dilli Babu Reddy, the blackmail and the threat is â€śthat the hotel owners will ruin my life & career, malign my name and reputation, and even KILL me in an accident, or book any false case and see to it that I end up in jail,â€ť the affidavit states.
Making it clear that the safety of the petitioner is the responsibility of the police, the court adjourned the case.
Last month, the TTD, which manages the affairs of the Sri Venkateswara temple atop Tirumala, had warned hotels to cut down their prices and implement the fixed rate norm.
Following a High Court order on the matter, the TTD said that it had released a 'price list', that was not being followed by hotels in the hill town.
Earlier, the combined High Court of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in Hyderabad, ordered the TTD to rationalise the price structure of various food items being sold at eateries in the temple town.
The irked court pointed out that some hotels were over-charging massively for some items, and asked the TTD authorities if they were working with the shop owners to loot devotees.