HC gives TN govt three days to reconsider decision to allow 100% seating in theatres

By Express News Service

MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Friday granted time to the state authorities until January 11 to reconsider its decision allowing theatres to open at full capability.

A division bench comprising Justices MM Sundresh and S Ananthi added that the occupancy in threatres ought to proceed to be 50% until then. They additional directed the federal government to provide you with options to mitigate the theatre house owners’ losses like growing the variety of reveals permitted per day amongst others. The matter was adjourned to January 11.

The instructions had been issued on a batch of Public Interest Litigations (PILs) filed by three individuals together with two advocates, difficult the state authorities’s G.O. dated January 4, 2021 permitting one hundred pc occupancy in theatres amid pandemic.

A typical apprehension voiced by the litigants — a Madurai resident A Bonyface and advocates S Muthukumar and A Ramkumar Adityan — was that when the nation is going through menace from a brand new pressure of coronavirus, the state authorities’s decision would put the lives of individuals in danger. The decision was taken regardless of the strict pointers issued by the central authorities that the seating capability in theatres and multiplexes mustn’t exceed 50 % or 200 individuals, they identified.

Assistant Solicitor General L Victoria Gowri additionally submitted that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs despatched a communication to the state authorities on January 5, reiterating that each one pointers and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued in view of the pandemic must be strictly complied with none dilution.

However, a counsel showing for the Tamil Nadu Theatre and Multiplex Owners Association prayed to the judges to contemplate the plight of theatre house owners and employees. “We have already suffered a severe loss due to the lockdown and the government doesn’t permit increasing of ticket charges too,” he cited. At this juncture, litigant Muthukumar’s counsel advised that the federal government could improve the variety of reveals as an alternative of accelerating the seating capability.

Hearing the submissions, the judges opined that the Tamil Nadu authorities ought not to have issued the G.O. when it is aware of the influence and binding nature of pointers issued by a National Authority beneath Disaster Management Act, 2005 on a state authorities.

Since the Additional Advocate General (AAG) Sricharan Rangarajan, showing on behalf of the state, submitted that the TN authorities is reconsidering its decision based mostly on the Centre’s communication and sought time, the judges adjourned the matter to January 11, including that the seating capability must be maintained inside 50 % in the meantime.

They additionally directed the federal government to provide you with options to deal with the issues of theatre house owners as effectively, to which the AAG replied that it’s into account.

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