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SC stays J&K HC direction permitting people to carry outside food in cinema

Urvi Malvania/Mumbai 11 Aug 18 | 10:43 PM

Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court (SC) has stayed the Jammu and Kashmir High Court’s direction to multiplex and cinema hall owners in the state to allow outside food inside multiplexes.

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The high court had passed an order on July 18, directing the multiplex and cinema hall owners of the state not to prohibit audience members from carrying their own food and water inside the cinemas. The Multiplex Association of India (MAI) had filed a special leave petition before the Supreme Court challenging this order.

The matter was listed for hearing on Friday, before a Bench comprising Justice R F Nariman and Justice Indu Malhotra. In addition, two other special leave petitions were filed before the Supreme Court by G S Malls (Wave Cinemas) and K C Theatre against the same high court order. These were also heard along with the petition filed by the MAI.

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Deepak Asher, president, MAI, said “We are satisfied by the interim direction... We have always maintained that allowing patrons to bring in their own food and beverages inside cinemas has serious implications for safety and security, as well as health and hygiene. This would also infringe upon the fundamental rights of multiplex and cinema operators to carry on business and violate contractual agreement between the patron and the cinema operator."

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He added, “The stay granted by the Supreme Court reinforces the established business practice followed by cinemas across the world, and also similar practices followed by other establishments and businesses, such as amusement parks, entertainment centers, sports stadiums, restaurants, hotels, etc."

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Earlier this week, the Maharashtra government filed an affidavit in the Bombay High Court in the ongoing hearing on the matter of allowing outside food inside multiplexes in the state. In the affidavit, the government said that allowing patrons to carry food inside multiplexes was a security concern. It added that food inside multiplexes should be sold at the maximum retail prices. The court is expected to give a verdict on the matter on September 3.

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