In a relief for multiplex owners, the Supreme Court has recently pronounced its verdict that the cinema hall owners have their right to set terms and conditions regarding food. It ruled that the theatre owners can prohibit patrons from getting food and beverages from outside. "Should we start bringing jalebis to the movies?" the judges remarked at one point. The verdict, pronounced by a bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha, was on a batch of pleas filed by theatre owners of Jammu and Kashmir and the Multiplex Association of India, challenging a J&K High Court order. As per the order, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court had removed the ban on people carrying their own food and water in theatres.
"The cinema hall is not a gym that you need healthy food. It is a place of entertainment. A cinema hall is private property. It is for the owner to decide subject to statutory rules. Saying that arms are not allowed or that no discrimination on basis of caste or gender can be there, is fine. But how can the High Court say that they can bring any food inside cinema halls?" the judges stated.
The argument further took a hilarious turn when the judges brought in a 'jalebi' comparison while explaining their point. "Suppose someone starts getting jalebis inside the cinema hall then the theatre's management can stop them. If the viewer wipes his sticky fingers on the seats, then who will pay for the cleaning? People can also bring tandoori chicken. Then there will be complaints of bones left in the hall. That could also bother people. No one is forcing them to buy popcorn," stated Chief Justice Chandrachud.
However, the judges allowed making a concession over water, saying that the theatres can provide free water. "But suppose they sell nimbu paani for Rs. 20, you can't say I'll go buy my nimbu from outside and squeeze it in a flask and make it inside the theatre," the judges added.
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.