The Legal Metrology Department in Hyderabad continued its crackdown on cinema halls and theatres on Friday, for violating the August 1 deadline that was set, to stop selling packaged goods above the MRP.
The Department said that it received over 200 complaints from consumers against multiplexes on the department helpline numbers, following which big cinema halls in the city like PVR, INOX, Big Cinema, Cinepolis and Prasads were raided.
While 54 cases were booked against 18 theatres on Thursday, 8 multiplexes and 21 single screen theatres were raided on Friday, out of which 6 multiplexes and 14 single screen theatres were found to be violating the rules.
The Task Force under the department conducted checks to ensure that all items were marked, packed and sold as per the latest rules. The department officials are now gearing up for the third round of special checks, starting on August 4 and 5.
The department officials had earlier warned of conducting raids and had even met with multiplex and theatre representatives as part of discussions on the same. However, the Multiplex association of India and PVR limited has challenged the Legal Metrology Department in the Hyderabad High court and the case being heard by Justice Ramachandra Rao. A judgment is expected to be delivered on August 7.
While hearing the case on Thursday, the court observed that the department officials have no powers to impose restriction on non-packaged food items in cinema halls and multiplexes. The department had instructed the multiplexes and cinema halls to denote the weight and quantity of non-packaged food items on the containers.
The senior counsel for the petitioners, Niranjan Reddy pointed out that there was no objection with the restriction imposed by the department on the sale of packaged food items, but contended that the restrictions on non-packaged food was unreasonable.
During the hearing, Justice Rao observed that it was not possible to have a declaration in the form of a sticker, if two samosas were purchased and served in a paper plate.
However, the judge also pointed out that there was nothing wrong if it was made mandatory to give bills on each food item purchased by the consumer.
Meanwhile, officials said that consumers can register their complaints at a toll-free number, 180042500333 or on WhatsApp number 7330774444.