HYDERABAD: In a setback to “Easy Movies”, an online ticketing provider for cinema halls, the Hyderabad High Court has refused to set aside the case registered against the firm for selling cinema tickets without permission and at a higher price to general public. There were specific overt acts attributed against the accused company and sufficient material was there to prosecute it for the alleged offences, the court opined.
Justice N Balayogi passed this order recently in a petition filed by Behind Basiks Infotech private limited (Easy Movies) seeking to quash the case registered against the firm at Saifabad police station for the offences punishable under Section 9(A) of the AP Cinema (Regulations) Act 1955 and Sections 188, 420, 120-B, 109 read with Section 34 IPC. The police registered the case based on a complaint by advocate GL Narasimha Rao of the city.
Petitioner’s counsel contended that the initiation of prosecution was intended only to harass the company management.On the other hand, the state public prosecutor told the court that the internet centre concerned have been collecting `58 per ticket instead of `50 and when the same was questioned by the complainant, the accused internet centre states that he was not at all a licensing authority to questioned the method of selling tickets on higher prices through online system.
After hearing the case and perusing the material on record, the judge found that out of 70 theatres in Hyderabad, nearly 50 theatres were hand in glove with the petitioner-accused who agreed to sell the balcony tickets of the theatres online. Further, the record reveals that the accused wrongfully gains at about `23.04 lakh per theatre by selling the tickets at higher price. The judge dismissed the petition saying that there was nothing in the plea to suggest that lodging of the complaint against the petitioner-accused would be abuse of process of court.