The Honorable High Court of Jammu and Kashmir, in PIL No. 11 of 2018, has passed on order dated 18 July, 2018, whereby the Honorable High Court had, inter alia, directed the Multiplexes / Cinema Hall owners of the State of Jammu and Kashmir not to prohibit cinema goers/viewers from carrying their own food articles and water inside the theatre. Being aggrieved by this order, the Multiplex Association of India has filed a special leave petition (Diary No. 27970 of 2018) before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India against the same. The challenge in the petition is limited to the aforesaid direction issued by the Honorable High Court.
The matter was listed for hearing on 10th August 2018, before a bench comprising of Honorable Mr Justice R F Nariman and Honorable Ms Justice Indu Malhotra. Senior Counsel Mr Mukul Rohatgi represented the Multiplex Association of India.
After hearing the parties, the Honorable Supreme Court was pleased to stay the above direction issued by the Honorable High Court to the Multiplexes / Cinema Hall owners of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
In addition, two other special leave petitions were filed before the Honorable Supreme Court of India by G S Malls Private Limited (Wave Cinemas) (SLP (C) No. 20904 of 2018) and K.C. Theatre (SLP (C) No. 20784 of 2018) against the same order passed by the Honorable High Court, which was also heard along with the petition filed on behalf of Multiplex Association of India. Senior Counsel Dr Abhishek Singhvi represented G S Malls Private Limited. A similar order has been passed in these two petitions as well.
Mr Deepak Asher, President of the Multiplex Association of India, said “We are satisfied by the interim direction of the Honorable Supreme Court of India, staying the above order of the Honorable High Court of Jammu and Kashmir. We have always maintained that allowing patrons to bring in their own food and beverages inside cinema theatres, besides infringing upon the fundamental rights of multiplex and cinema operators to carry on business, and being violative of the contractual agreement between the patron and the cinema operator, has serious implications for safety and security, as well as health and hygiene. The stay granted by the Honorable Supreme Court reinforces the established business practice followed by cinemas across the world, and also similar practices followed by other establishments and businesses like amusement parks, entertainment centers, sports stadia, restaurants, hotels, etc.”