An owner of a cinema hall has the right to regulate movies goers from carrying food and beverage from outside into the movie hall, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday, Bar and Bench reported.
Cinema hall a private property of owner: SC
Stressing that the cinema hall is a property of the owner, a bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha underlined that he is entitled to put such terms and conditions as he deems fit provided the same are not contrary to public interest or safety.
The Apex Court observed: "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 movie goer. Viewers visit hall for entertainment."
'Rules by the owner must be followed'
Rules drawn by the cinema hall owner must be adhered to if a viewer enters a movie hall, since it is evidently a matter of commercial decision of theatre owner, the court held.
The Supreme Court, thus, set aside the direction of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court. The J&K HC had directed multiplexes and movie theatres not to prevent cinema goers from carrying their own food and beverages into movie halls.
J&K HC exceeded jurisdiction: Apex Court
"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 SC said.
Theatre owners and Multiplex Association of India had approached the Supreme Court challenging the order passed by the J&K HC in 2018.
Earlier, the J&K High Court, noting that the rules framed by Jammu and Kashmir did not prohibit movie goers from carrying their own food or water bottle inside the hall, had passed directions to allow outside food in cinema halls.
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