‘Will cancel licences if theatres flout norms’

City Police Commissioner Mahesh Kumar Aggarwal on Thursday warned of cancellation of licences if theatres are found repeatedly violating COVID-19 norms laid down by the government.

The State government has allowed theatres to screen films at 50% percent capacity, in view of the pandemic. With big-budget films hitting the screens, city theatres have been seen running shows at higher than the stipulated 50% capacity.

Deputy Commissioners of Police have been conducting surprise checks in their jurisdictions, and cases have been booked against managements of theatres found violating the provisions.

For the third consecutive day on Friday, crowding by fans was witnessed in some theatres.

Responding to queries by reporters, Mr. Aggarwal said, “Theatres should follow norms laid down by the government and operate at only 50% occupancy. If anyone is found violating norms, action will be taken against them and their licence will be cancelled, in case of repeated violations.”

As many as 25 cases were booked against threatre managements, by the police, for violations within city limits, until Thursday evening, under relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code, the Disaster Management Act and the Epidemic Diseases Act, besides imposing a ₹5,000 fine on them.

“Local DCs have been asked to conduct random checks. We are conducting surprise checks and booking cases. If they indulge in repeat offences, we will go for cancellation of licence,” Mr. Aggarwal warned.

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