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Bye bye cheap weekend tickets: Karnataka theatres get stay on price cap

13 May 2017

In a big setback to the state government, the state High Court (HC) on Thursday, May 11 stayed the order of capping multiplex ticket price in the state saying the price can not be regulated on weekends and public holidays.

The government issued the order capping multiplex ticket price on May 2 and it was implemented with effect from May 5.

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Vacation Judge Justice PS Dinesh Kumar passed the order after hearing the petitioners and the state government.

The court, on perusing the letter written by the association to the government on March 23, 2017, noticed that the association had clearly indicated that the cap on price was not acceptable for Saturdays, Sundays, and State holidays besides making an exemption from price cap of ₹200 to such multiplexes having variety of hi-tech, state-of-the-art facilities and amenities. Till the case is pending in court, the Rs 200-cap will not apply on Saturdays, Sundays and state holidays. However, it was not considered by the state, he argued.

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Countering this, Additional Advocate General Shivanna argued that the members of the Multiplex Association accepted the common price which was fixed in the interest of general public in the meeting conducted by the government. He also said the cap i uniformly applied in all tiers of cities i the state, including Bengaluru, while ex pressing surprise as to how such a club bing can be done. "It is the first Kannada movie to collect Rs. 50 crore", she said and added, "if the content is bad then even if we price the ticket at Rs. 80 no one will come and watch".

Senior advocate Uday Holla, appearing for the petitioners, claimed that the Karnataka Cinema (Regulations) Act and Rules does not give power to the State to fix price for cinema theatres. The Karnataka government had four weeks to file its objections to the petition, according to The Times of India.

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The association contended that the government's order was a violation of fundamental rights and would hit the profits.

Bye bye cheap weekend tickets: Karnataka theatres get stay on price cap