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'What if someone wants to take jalebis...' | Supreme Court on prohibiting outside food in cinema halls

SC verdict on theatres: The apex court was hearing a batch of appeals filed by cinema hall owners and the Multiplex Association of India challenging a 2018 verdict of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.

Edited By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan New Delhi Updated on: January 04, 2023 6:10 IST
Supreme Court says cinema hall owners are entitled to set
Image Source : PTI/INDIA TV Supreme Court says cinema hall owners are entitled to set rules for selling food and beverages inside halls

SC verdict on theatres: The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, stated that cinema hall owners have the absolute right to set their own terms and conditions for selling food and beverages inside the theatres. A bench consisting of Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha gave the verdict on the matter.

Notably, the apex court was hearing a batch of appeals filed by cinema hall owners and the Multiplex Association of India challenging a 2018 verdict of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.

"Suppose someone starts getting jalebis. The owner would not want anyone wiping their hands on the seats," the bench remarked. Adding further, the top court said that the "owners may not want tandoori chicken to be bought in," and also emphasised that no one compels moviegoers to purchase popcorn inside theatres. 

Theatre owners entitled to impose terms and conditions: SC

The court also contended that the moviegoers had the option to forego the food and drinks offered in theatres. It further said that a movie hall is the private property of its owner, who is free to impose any terms and restrictions he sees fit so long as they do not conflict with the public interest or safety.

"A cinema hall owner has the right to regulate the entry of food and beverage. Whether to consume what is available is entirely the choice of the moviegoer. Viewers visit halls for entertainment," CJI Chandrachud remarked. 

'The cinema hall is not a gym...': SC

The top court stated that the viewers must abide by the rules of the cinema hall owners and that it is absolutely a subject of a commercial decision. "The cinema hall is not a gym where you need healthy food. It is a place of entertainment. It is privately owned, so it is the owner's prerogative," the top court noted. 

It should be mentioned here that the Supreme Court overturned the directives of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court which had ordered multiplexes and cinema halls not to prevent moviegoers from carrying their own food and beverages to theatres. 

(With inputs from ANI)

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