Sell food in movie theatres at regular prices: Bombay HC

The Maharashtra government told the court that it would soon frame a policy on the issue


People who love watching movies but fret to indulge on food items inside a movie theatre can rejoice as the Bombay High Court has opined that food items should be sold at regular prices. 

Considering the food and water prices inside multiplexes was exorbitant, the HC gave the decision. The Maharashtra government told the court that it would soon frame a policy on the issue.

A division bench of justices SM Kemkar and MS Karnik was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by city resident Jainendra Baxi, challenging the prohibition on carrying outside food inside movie theatres and multiplexes across the state.

The petitioner’s lawyer, Aditya Pratap Singh, told the court there does not exist any legal or statutory provision that prohibits one from carrying personal food items or water inside movie theatres. The multiplexes sell food and water inside, but at an increased price, he said.

Agreeing to this, Justice Kemkar said,

The price of food and water bottles sold inside movie theatres are, indeed, exorbitant. We have ourselves experienced it. You (multiplexes) should sell it at the regular price.”

The court said if multiplexes were prohibiting people from bringing outside food, then there should be a total prohibition on eatables.

Then you (multiplexes) cannot have your own vendors selling food and other snacks inside,” Kemkar said.

Government pleader Purnima Kantharia today told the court that the state would soon frame a policy on the issue, after taking into consideration suggestions submitted by the petitioner and the Multiplex Owners’ Association (MOA).

The MOA is a nationwide body of cinema theatre owners and the policy is likely to be framed within six weeks, she told the court and the next hearing will take place on June 12.

The petition had claimed that restrictions on bringing outside food to theatres, particularly affected the senior citizens, and those who could not eat, for medical reasons, “the junk food that the food stalls in theatres sell,” the petition reads.

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