How outside food in multiplexes could create security issue, asks Bombay High Court
MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday questioned the Maharashtra government’s stand in favour of prohibiting outside food into multiplex cinema halls.
The court also slammed the Multiplex Owners’ Association as well as the Maharashtra Navanirman Sena (MNS) while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking revocation of prohibition on outside food in multiplexes.
In an affidavit filed before the court on Tuesday, the Maharashtra government had said that it does not deem it necessary to interfere with the ban on outside food in multiplexes, as it may create “chaos” or “security issues”.
While responding to the affidavit, a bench of Justices comprising Ranjit More and Anuja Prabhudessai, asked the Maharashtra government to explain how permitting people to carry food from outside into multiplexes could pose a security threat.
“If people can be permitted to carry home food inside aircraft then why not to theatres?” the bench sought to know. “Also, you (the government) yourself have said there is no specific legal provision behind such prohibition. So, what kind of security problems are you anticipating?” it asked.
The court also slammed the Multiplex Owners’ Association saying that their “business is to present the cinema and not selling food”.
There are police and the courts where a issue can be reported and get resolved, the court said while expressing displeasure over the agitation carried out by the MNS against prohibition on outside food in multiplexes.
“The food sold inside multiplexes is priced exorbitantly. Also, by prohibiting people from carrying food from home, you are compelling entire families to consume junk food,” it said. The bench has been hearing a PIL filed through advocate Aditya Pratap, seeking that the prohibition on outside food in multiplexes be revoked.
However, the court didn’t give its ruling on the PIL as it was informed that a similar case is pending before the Supreme Court. The bench said it would like to see what the apex court had to say on the issue and directed the petitioner and lawyer Aditya Pratap to file a rejoinder to the state’s affidavit. Next hearing in the case is likely to be on September 3.