Multiplexes Can’t Compel Moviegoers To Buy Food Items At Exorbitant Prices, Says Bombay HC; State To Frame Policy [Read Order]
The Bombay High Court has said cinemagoers cannot be prohibited from carrying their own food articles and water bottles to multiplexes as private vendors are allowed to sell food inside at exorbitant prices.
A bench of Justice SS Kemkar and MS Karnik said either there should be complete prohibition on food or if vendors are allowed to sell, then viewers should also be allowed to carry their own food.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by director Jainendra Baxi through his advocate Aditya Pratap. The PIL highlights the irony in not allowing outside food yet selling them inside through private vendors at exorbitant prices. The PIL states:
“This Petition is being filed related to infringement of the "Right to Life" of medically vulnerable persons and senior citizens, who are not permitted to bring their own food articles and water inside the theatres, while at the same time, despite the restriction imposed under section 121 of the Maharashtra Cinemas (Regulation) Rules, 1966, fast food is served and also permitted to be consumed inside the theatres.”
Petitioner’s advocate Aditya Pratap had also submitted certain guidelines that the state government can consider to implement. These guidelines broadly recommend cancellation of licenses in case cinema owners do not allow outside food.
While Government Pleader Poornima Kantharia submitted that the state has considered the suggestions made by petitioner Jainendra Baxi and the FICCI Multiplex Association of India and will be coming up with a policy soon. She also said an affidavit to this effect could be filed within 6 weeks.Read the Order Here