July 13, 2024
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“Cinema Hall Not A Gym”: Supreme Court On Food Served At Movies

Should we start bringing jalebis to the movies? was a question raised by the judges during today’s Supreme Court hearing on whether patrons can bring food into theatres.

The issue arose as a result of a petition that demanded that outside food be prohibited from being brought inside movie theatres. The Supreme Court declared that movie theatres and multiplexes had the power to prohibit patrons from bringing in outside food and drink.

A Jammu and Kashmir High Court ruling that lifted the restriction was overturned by a Supreme Court panel led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha on the grounds that individuals shouldn’t be compelled to consume anything the theatres provide.

“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 that theatres have already been ordered to give free food and clean water, particularly for minors, and that the High Court had overstepped its mandate.

The judges’ attempts to defend their position caused the debates to turn humorous. The Chief Justice described an incident from when he presided over the Bombay High Court and heard a case involving adult movies shown on television after 11:00 p.m.

The case at hand was originally dismissed by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on July 18, 2018, overturning the prohibition on bringing food and beverages into movie theatres. The High Court had stated that because of the ban, individuals are compelled to consume whatever is offered for sale at the theatre.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

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