The Bombay High Court has ordered BookMyShow.com, Big Cinema, Fame India, INOX, Fun Multiplex, Sterling, Globus Cinema, New Excelsior, 24 Karat Multiplex, HDIL Broadway, Abhiruchi City Pride and E-Square to respond to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Sunil Lulla seeking the implementation of the government order dated April 4, 2013 that restrains charging of extra fee for online booking of movie tickets, reports Times of India.
The report states that on April 16, 2013, Lulla had booked an online ticket through BookmyShow.com for a movie Sterling Cinema and was charged Rs 193.48, out of which Rs 180 was the ticket fee and Rs 13.48 was charged as internet handling fee. Following this, Lulla contacted Sterling Cinema inquiring about the internet handling fee for which he received a replying stating it was unaware of the government order and was unable to get a copy of it. His advocate has submitted that some theatres charge up to Rs 25 for online booking.
The Government order to cinema halls
The government of Maharashtra had ordered cinema halls to follow the satellite computerized ticket printing from April 1, 2013 and also allowed single-screen cinema halls losing business and facing shutdown, to double their service tax to adopt digital technology, according to a Nextbigwhat report.
Government of Andhra Pradesh Order in 2009
In May 2011, BookmyShow.com, PVR and Reliance ADA Group’s Big Cinemas which operate multiplex chains had stopped online booking of movie tickets for movie theatres in Andhra Pradesh due to an order (pdf) passed by the Andhra Pradesh Government allowing a single company, Galaxy Entertainers, to sell tickets online.
The Governement of Andhra Pradesh in its order states that it believes that the move will facilitate correct disclosure of sales volumes and prevent tax evasion. It is also of the view that appointing one agency to book tickets is better than having multiple agencies. This order was later challenged by BookmyShow.com.