Rental charge for 3D glasses: Kerala lawyer wins fourth case against theatres

The SCDRC’s order stated that the rental charge was a serious violation of consumer rights and that theatres should supply glasses free of cost.
Advocate Ravikrishnan N R
Advocate Ravikrishnan N RPhoto | Special Arrangement

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A city-based lawyer and consumer rights crusader won his fourth case against the rental charge collected by theatres for 3D glasses. The latest case by advocate Ravikrishnan N R was against the Carnival Cinemas functioning in the Artech Mall at Pattoor. The Thiruvananthapuram District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (DCDRC) directed Carnival Cinemas to pay Rs 35,000 in compensation and Rs 2,500 in costs. The panel also asked the Artech Mall to pay Rs 5,000 compensation and Rs 2,500 as costs for collecting illegal parking fees from him.

Ravikrishnan watched the movie ‘RRR’ by paying Rs 180 at Carnival Cinemas in April 2022. The ticket charge was Rs 150 and a receipt given along with it said Rs 30 was “Hire charges for 3D glasses”. The glasses were collected back by the theatre at the end of the show.

The panel’s order said the collection of rental charges amounted to unfair practice. It cited an earlier order by the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (SCDRC) on a similar petition filed by Ravikrishnan. The SCDRC’s order stated that the rental charge was a serious violation of consumer rights and that theatres should supply glasses free of cost. The district commission stated that the mall was bound to provide parking space to its customers free of cost as per the building rules. The mall had to obtain a license from the city corporation if it wanted to collect parking fees. And it is allowed only when the allotted free parking area becomes inadequate to meet the demand.

Ravikrishnan, 51, has filed over 30 cases in different consumer rights forums in his personal capacity. Of the five cases on 3D glasses, three were disposed in his favour. One theatre settled the case out of court and another is pending.

Ravikrishnan filed his first petition in 1994 when he was a law student. It was against the fees collected by the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation for issuing student concession passes. He won the case.

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