Chennai, September 22: Gokulam Cinemas, a cinema hall in Chennai, has been ordered by the Thiruvallur District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum to pay a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to S Sureshkumar, a specially-abled man, for failing to provide proper accessibility accommodations. Sureshkumar, who has a 60 per cent locomotor disability, filed a complaint after he visited the theatre to watch the movie "Nenjukku Nuuthi" in May 2022. He discovered that the screen was located on the second floor, yet there were no elevators or ramps to facilitate his access.

According to the Times of India report, despite his disability, the theatre staff insisted that he climb the staircase, which resulted in severe leg pain for Sureshkumar on the same day. He alleged that Gokulam Cinemas violated the Disability Act of 2006 by not Providing necessary accessibility features in their newly constructed facility. Additionally, he claimed that the district collector had issued a license to the theatre without conducting a proper inspection. Senthil Balaji To Remain in Jail: Chennai Court Denies Bail to Tamil Nadu Minister in PMLA Case.

In response to the complaint, Gokulam Cinemas claimed that Sureshkumar was not present on their premises on the specified date and accused him of attempting to mislead the court by using a ticket borrowed from someone else. They argued that the installation of lifts had been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the forum rejected this argument, emphasising that the COVID-19 pandemic could not be an excuse, as it had ended two years prior. HC on Employee's Right to Vent: Madras High Court Upholds Bank Staffer's Right to Criticise Management on WhatsApp, Quashes Charge Memo.

The theatre has been ordered to pay Rs 1 lakh as compensation for the mental distress and hardship caused to Sureshkumar, along with an additional Rs 10,000 for his legal expenses. Furthermore, the Thiruvallur district collector has been instructed to take necessary action against the theatre within four weeks.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 22, 2023 09:46 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website