Court says that Cinema Halls/Multiplexes cannot Prohibit Outside Food


July 27, 2018

Case name: Sidharth Anand & Anr. v. State of J&K & ors.

In this recent case, the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir has succinctly stated that cinema goers cannot be forced by the multiplexes/cinema hall owners to purchase food and water from theatre premises nor they can be prohibited from carrying food items into malls and multiplexes from outside.

In this PIL, the main grievance of the Petitioner was that cinema owners have prohibited the movie viewers from taking outside the eatable items inside the cinema halls, rather such viewers have been forced to take eatables from inside the cinema hall premises at very exorbitant rates.

In view of the aforesaid contention, the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir in the case has noted that the statutory provisions as enumerated under the Jammu & Kashmir Cinemas (Regulation) Rules, 1975 nowhere provides that cinema goers can be prohibited from carrying their own food articles and water bottles to multiplexes or private vendors are allowed to sell food inside such multiplexes/cinema hall premises at highly exorbitant prices.

Thus, the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir in the instant case has categorically stated that cinema goers cannot be forced by the multiplexes/cinema hall owners to purchase food and water from theaterĀ premises nor they can be prohibited from carrying food items into malls and multiplexes from outside.

The High Court has remarked that such kind of acts on the part of Multiplex/Cinema Hall owners are against the right to choice of food, including the right not to eat junk food and right to good health, which comes under the purview of Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

The High Court has also issued a slew of directions which inter alia provide that:

Multiplexes/Cinema Halls Owners of the State of J&K are directed not to prohibit cinema goers/viewers henceforth from carrying his/her own food articles and water inside the theatre.

Strict compliance of Rule 88(ix), which provides that no person between the age of 5 years to 18 years shall be admitted to any show commencing before 3.00 PM except on Sunday or any notified holiday by the Government of J&K.

Here it would be relevant to mention that recently, it has been reported that the Government of Maharashtra that moviegoers cannot be stopped from carrying outside food. In this context, Ravindra Chavan. Junior Minister for food and civil suppliesĀ has said that according to Maharashtra Cinemas (Regulation) Rules, 1966 cinemas cannot prohibit consumers from carrying food[1].

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[1] Source: Times of India, dated July 14, 2018