The Bombay High Court on Wednesday pulled up the Maharashtra government as the latter backed down from its earlier stance favouring moviegoers to carry their own food into cinema halls to counter the problem of overcharging by multiplexes.
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday pulled up the Maharashtra government as the latter backed down from its earlier stance favouring moviegoers to carry their own food into cinema halls to counter the problem of overcharging by multiplexes. In an affidavit filed in the Bombay High Court on Tuesday through Venkatesh Bhatt, deputy secretary of the home department, the state government said according to the opinion of the director general of police, carrying one’s own food may create “chaos” and may lead to “security issues”.
Responding to the affidavit, the bench of justices Ranjit More and Anuja Prabhudesai observed that food items are allowed even in aircraft after appropriate checks, and the issue of threat to security might similarly be addressed by multiplexes.“If people can be permitted to carry home food inside aircraft then why not to theatres?” the bench sought to know. “Also, you (the government) yourself have said there is no specific legal provision behind such prohibition. So, what kind of security problems are you anticipating?” it asked.
The PIL filed earlier through advocate Aditya Pratap had challenged the practice of prohibiting food items into cinema halls by multiplex owners. On June 27, the court had asked the government why it could not regulate exorbitant prices of food items in multiplexes. The bench is likely to conduct the next hearing in the case on September 3. Pratap said he would oppose the state’s stand and would file a counter affidavit within two weeks.
During the recent monsoon session in Nagpur, food supplies minister Ravindra Chavan told the state Legislature that multiplexes and malls had been directed to allow eatables and beverages inside, after some legislators raised the issue of high prices of food at such places. Between April and June this year, the Legal Metrology department had conducted checks in 44 cinema halls and found three of them charging prices over and above the maximum retail price mentioned on items.