Maharashtra govt says outside food in multiplexes may lead to security issues

The state government told the Bombay high court (HC) on Wednesday that bringing in outside food into multiplex cinemas could raise security issues.

In an affidavit submitted to the HC, the state home department referred to a report submitted by the director general of police (DGP). “As per the opinion of DGP, carrying own food may create chaos and may lead to the security issue. Since the licence given to the theatres as per Rule 101, Maharashtra Cinemas (Regulation) Rules, 1966, by the licensing authority (police), no condition can be put up on the ticket as it’s not envisaged in the Rules,” the affidavit said.

Last month, minister of state for food and civil supplies Ravindra Chavan had said in the state legislature that outside food would be allowed in theatres and multiplexes would be compelled to sell food items at a lower price.

Chavan denied the state had changed its stand. “There is no question of U-turn on our part. I had been quoting Rule 121, which clearly implies there were no restrictions on outside food. Now if the home department has taken a different stand over security reasons, I do not have anything to say about it. Even for dual pricing, I had clarified that there is no control over the items sold without MRP.”

As per the Maharashtra Cinema (Regulations) Rules, 1966, Rule 121 forbids hawking or selling food inside the auditorium. “The rule speaks only about the hawking in auditoriums, but is silent about allowing own food by patrons. Instead of pointing at security reasons, the police should have moved for strict security measures and allowed own food,” an official from Mantralaya said. The state also said in its affidavit that there was no provision in Maharashtra Police Act 1951 to control selling prices of non-packaged food. “We have started implementing the Centre’s notification barring them (cinemas) from dual pricing of packaged food,” said Girish Bapat, the cabinet minister for food and civil supplies.

First Published: Aug 09, 2018 00:59 IST

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