The Maharashtra government on Friday said movie-goers can carry their own food items inside theatres from August 1, according to media reports.
State Food Supplies Minister Ravindra Chavan said the government will take action against theatre employees and owners who do not comply with the order.
Chavan made the statement in the Nagpur Assembly when Leader of Opposition Dhananjay Munde asked the government to clarify if outside food was permitted inside theatres.
Theatre owners will also be asked by the state government to reduce the prices of food items sold on the premises. Officials will hold meetings with multiplex owners and fix the prices as per the market rate.
This comes at a time when a public interest litigation on the matter is pending before the Bombay High Court. Mumbai resident Jainendra Baxi had filed the PIL earlier in January, claiming there was no legal or statutory provision prohibiting people from carrying personal food items into film theatres.
Baxi’s counsel Aditya Pratap had said that the licence issued by the state government to movie theatres must have a mandatory clause directing them against banning personal food. He had also pointed out that the Maharashtra Cinemas (Regulation) Rules does not allow hawking and selling of food inside theatres. “This rule is openly flouted by cinema halls with several stalls selling food and beverages,” Pratap had said.
This move by the government is appreciable and will definitely help the movie-goers.