Confusion over outside food in multiplex continues after High Court hearing

Allowing outside food in multiplexes may create security issue according to the government. The next hearing will take place on September 3, 2018

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The Bombay High Court (HC) has asked the Maharashtra government on Wednesday, August 8, 2018, to explain how permitting people to carry food from outside into multiplexes could pose a security threat. 

A bench of Justices Ranjit More and Anuja Prabhudessai were responding to the state government's affidavit filed in the high court yesterday that it does not deem it necessary to interfere with the ban on outside food in multiplexes, as it may create "chaos" or "security issues".

The bench, however, noted that people were not prohibited from carrying food from home or from any other place to other public spots. It observed that the state's affidavit said there was no specific law or statutory provision that restrained people from carrying outside food into cinema halls.

What security concern can be caused by food inside theatres? People are not prohibited from carrying food to any other public place besides cinema halls, the court said. 

The high court, however, noted that the cinema hall owners' association could not compare restaurants with multiplexes.

We are only on the issue of security since that is the state's main argument. Explain to us what are the security problems that a person can cause by carrying food items from home into a multiplex. The food sold inside multiplexes is priced exorbitantly. Also, by prohibiting people from carrying food from home, you are compelling entire families to consume junk food," the bench said.

The bench has been hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed through advocate Aditya Pratap, seeking that the prohibition on outside food in multiplexes be revoked.

Pratap informed the bench today that there existed a previous judgment of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court permitting outside food in theatres.

On June 27, the court had asked the government why it could not regulate the exorbitant prices of food items in multiplexes. The bench is likely to conduct the next hearing in the case on September 3.

When we will receive the High Court’s order, we will give our letter to the collector demanding cinema halls to stop selling food items. Then MNS will take action,” Sandeep Deshpande, Corporator, MNS.

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