Mrunal Manmay Dash

The Supreme Court of India on Tuesday ruled that cinema halls are fully entitled to bar outside food items inside the premises. They have the right to set terms and conditions for the sale of food and beverages inside the halls, the SC ruled.

The ruling was made by a bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, who said, “A moviegoer has a choice to not consume the same if they deem it too costly.”

The bench, however, reiterated that cinemas should not object to food carried by parents for their infants.

CJI Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha scrapped a Jammu and Kashmir High Court order that had removed the ban on the ground that people should not be forced to eat whatever the cinemas serve.

During the hearing, the CJI remarked, "Cinemas are private properties. The owner can decide on the rights of prohibition. If one wants to take jalebi (a sweet dish) inside the cinema hall, the owner has the right to object to the same, stating that after eating jalebi, the person might wipe his hands with the chair and ruin it unnecessarily. Then who will pay for the cleaning?"

“People can also bring tandoori chicken. Then there will be complaints of bones left in the hall. That could also bother people. No one is forcing them to buy popcorn," added Chief Justice Chandrachud.

Today's case pertains to a ruling in July 18, 2018 when the Jammu and Kashmir High Court set aside a ban on food and drinks from outside in movie theatres. Because of the ban, people are forced to consume whatever is sold at the theatre, the High Court had said.