Ban On Outside Food In Maharashtra Movie Theatres Challenged By Bombay High Court

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) received by the Bombay High Court led to the court challenge the decision of the movie theatres in Maharashtra of banning outside food. The High Court has directed the Maharashtra government to file a reply to the PIL which challenges the rule reports the Economic Times.

Why Not Carry Your Own Food

The court has questioned the decision of the theatre asking that when the security guards frisk the movie goers and scrounge through their bags, why are they taking away the food that they are carrying and forcing them to buy the food from the stalls. The bench that was headed by Justice R M Borde and Justice Rajesh Ketkar, wants to be informed within three weeks whether this food ban imposed by the theatres is in accordance with the law.

“You have metal detectors to check for unauthorised or dangerous possessions such as knives and arms. The guards also frisk the public entering the theatres, check their purses and bags, then what is the need to remove all their food items and ask them to purchase food items from the theatres?” the bench asked.

The PIL was issued by a Mumbai resident, Jainendra Baxi with the help of his lawyer Aditya Pratap. “This rule is openly flouted by cinema halls with several stalls selling food and beverages. New theatres also have buttons right on the seats of viewers that enable them to call for a waiter, order food, and have the same delivered right at their seats,” said Pratap in a statement.

The PIL claims that there is no such legal or statutory provision that stops anyone to carry food or water inside the theatre. Plus, Pratap has further added that the Maharashtra Cinemas (Regulation) Rules does not allow hawking and selling food and water in the movie theatres. He also added that these restrictions puts those who cannot eat outside food in difficulty for example senior citizens.

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