New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that the owner of a movie theater has the right to prohibit moviegoers from bringing food and drink inside the theater, reported Bar and Bench. The bench headed by CJI DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha underlined that a film corridor is the confidential property of the proprietor of such lobby and he is entitled to put such agreements as he considers fit given the equivalent are not in opposition to public interest or wellbeing.

“A cinema hall owner has the right to regulate the entry of food and beverage. Whether to consume what is available is entirely upon the choice of the moviegoer. Viewers visit hall for entertainment,” Bar and Bench quoted the court as saying.

In the event that a watcher enters a film lobby, he/she needs to comply with the guidelines of the film corridor proprietor and it is clearly a question of business choice of the theater proprietor, the Court added.

As a result, the Court overturned a Jammu and Kashmir High Court order requiring movie theaters and multiplexes to allow moviegoers to bring their own food and beverages into the theaters.

“The High Court exceeded jurisdiction in passing such an order. It has been submitted movie hall owners that drinking water will be supplied free of charge and when an infant accompanies a parent, as a matter of practice hall owners do not object to reasonable amount of food for infant,” the Court noted.

The Multiplex Association of India and theatre owners had brought a number of appeals to the Court, challenging the High Court’s decision from 2018.

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The High Court had passed bearings to permit outside food in film lobbies in the wake of taking note that the guidelines outlined by Jammu and Kashmir didn’t forbid film participants from conveying their own food or water bottle inside the lobby.

KV Viswanathan, a senior Advocate, argued that the owner of a cinema hall reserves access to its precincts, which are not public property. He added that there is no obligation to purchase the food.

He added that when it comes to water, all halls should make sure that clean water is available.

The original petitioner argued that the cinema ticket issued by the hall constitutes a contract with the moviegoer and that the moviegoer is entitled to eat in the hall.

After considering the arguments, the Court decided that the fundamental issue at hand was the trade and business of cinema halls.

The top court surrendered that rules outlined by the public authority didn’t deny tenderizing food into film corridors from outside.

However, a cinema hall owner has the right to establish terms and conditions in order to carry on his business and occupation.

The Court stated, “It needs no emphasis that rule making power of the State has to be in consonance with the fundamental right of cinema hall owner to carry a business trade etc.”



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