The Hyderabad police, in an RTI query, had recently said that there were no regulations imposed on movie-goers to carry food and water bottles inside single screens and multiplexes. They further said that a complaint can be filed with the police or the Legal Metrology department if theatres were found flouting the norms.
However, responding to the statement, the Multiplex Association of India (MAI) on Tuesday, in a press note said that in view of a stay granted by the Supreme Court, multiplexes are still allowed to regulate the entry of food and beverages inside their premises.
The statement said that various Public Interest Litigations (PIL) have been filed in different High Courts on allowing customers to carry food and water inside theatres. Many HCs, including Andhra Pradesh and Madras, have dismissed the petitions.
“One High Court, namely that of Jammu and Kashmir, had allowed patrons to carry outside food and beverages inside multiplexes. The Multiplex Association of India (MAI) had challenged this order by a petition, and the Supreme Court of India, while admitting the petition of the MAI, has stayed the operation of the order of the J&K High Court,” the statement reads.
Citing the stay, the association said the matter is currently under subjudice and hence it grants them to right to continue regulating the entry of food and beverages inside their premises.
“Various other public interest litigation, including those before the Bombay High Court, Delhi High Court, etc have all been transferred to the Supreme Court since these contained similar issues, and are being heard along with the petition of the MAI,” the association added.
Under the Cinema Regulation Act of 1955, there are no restrictions in letting a customer carry his own snack box or water bottles. Despite the law, most multiplexes do not allow customers to carry food or beverages citing security issues.
In the RTI query filed by Hyderabad-based activist Vijay Gopal, the Hyderabad cops have also made clear that no single screen theatres can charge a customer for providing 3D glasses. However, the police say that few multiplexes are permitted to do so for screening 3D movies as per the representations and GOs issued by the government.