In a major relief for movie-goers, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (DCDRF) in Vijayawada on Thursday ordered the multiplex owners to allow outside food in theatres.
Passing the verdict, the DCDRF directed the Legal Metrology department to implement the order.
The bench comprising President Ravipalli Madhava Rao and members B Srinivasu and R Seetharamamma, which was hearing five cases pertaining to dual pricing, also imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on three beverage companies for selling the product beyond its actual MRP, The Hindu reported.
Last year in May, activists and Consumer Guidance Society had registered a case against these five companies for dual pricing.
According to TOI, the Forum had directed the beverage companies which were fleecing the consumers, to pay Rs 5 lakh for each complaint.
Further, the multiplex managements were directed to return the excess money collected by overpricing the products, with a 9% interest from the day when the product was purchased.
According to reports, Madhava Rao wrote a 21-page judgement in Telugu, a first in the history of the Consumer Forum.
In Telangana too, the Legal Metrology has cracked the whip on multiplex owners for selling products at exorbitant prices. After a series of raids against cinema halls, the department found several violations, following which they issued an order to sell packaged food at MRP and to sell unpackaged food based on their weight against using terms like small, medium and jumbo.
The order came into force on August 1. However, the department is yet to address the issue of dual pricing and allowing outside food into theatres.
Meanwhile, the Multiplex association and PVR had approached the High Court challenging the order of the department.
Earlier in July, the Maharashtra government too announced that moviegoers can carry outside food inside multiplexes and cinema halls. The government had also directed that the MRP on the product should not vary. This order came after a litigant had filed a petition in the Bombay High Court.