HYDERABAD: On the eve of Mahesh Babu starrer Maharshi’s release, the sleuths from the Income Tax(I-T) department surveyed the office and residence of movie’s producer Venkata Ramana Reddy aka ‘Dil’ Raju in Hyderabad on Wednesday. The sleuths also visited the office at Sagar Society near Srinagar Colony. When contacted later, Dil Raju refused to comment. Officials confirmed it was not a search but refused to divulge the details. The records at the producer’s office and house were examined to assess pre-release collections ahead of the big budget release on Thursday.
The movie had made news after ‘Dil’ Raju told Express that they were looking at a 20 per cent increase in ticket rates for the initial 10 days to make the most out of the film’s release. Such reports had forced none other than the Minister for Cinematography, Talasani Srinivas Yadav to come out and clarify that no such permission is given to hike the price of tickets.
On Wednesday, reacting to the news that several theatres were selling tickets for the film ‘Maharshi’ at a higher price, the Principal Secretary for Home, who is the authority for the Cinema(Regulations) Act/Rules, Cable TV News Works Regulation Act, noted that the producers or theatres could not do such a thing. “We heard they had got a court order to do the same, but we are not aware of such an order. They can’t charge whatever they wish, so we will see what to do,” Rajiv Trivedi, Principal Secretary, Home, said.
Directed by Vamsi Paidapally, ‘Maharshi’ is a big budget project. The film is about three friends - played by Mahesh Babu, Allari Naresh and Pooja Hegde. It is produced jointly by ‘Dil’ Raju, C Ashwini Dutt and Prasad V Potluri.