The Supreme Court on Friday ordered a stay on a verdict by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court asking cinema hall owners in the state to allow people to carry their own food and water inside theatres, reported PTI.
Senior lawyer Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Multiplex Association of India, said businesses would break down if the High Court order was enforced across the country. “Can I be allowed to carry my whisky and chips into Willingdon Club and ask for soda there?” said Rohatgi, seeking an immediate stay of the order.
The court did not stay other directions issued by the High Court, and asked the petitioners and the state government to file their counter affidavit within four weeks.
The bench also asked Rohatgi if there were any statutory rules imposing restrictions on carrying food and water inside theatres. “The absence of any rules does not mean that people can carry their own food inside the cinema halls,” he replied.
Lawyers Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Vivek Tankha, and Sumeer Sodhi also opposed the High Court order, saying that entry tickets mentioned conditions asking people to avoid carrying food inside the halls. They were appearing on behalf of petitioner Waves Cinema, Jammu.
The matter will be heard next after six weeks.
On July 18, the High Court had issued a number of directions on a plea filed by two lawyers, seeking the enforcement of the Jammu and Kashmir Cinemas (Regulation) Rules, 1975.
A similar case is also being argued before the Bombay High Court, which on Wednesday said that it would wait for the Supreme Court to take up the matter from the Jammu and Kashmir High Court. The Bombay High Court had asked the Maharashtra government to explain how permitting moviegoers to carry food into multiplexes and theatres could pose a security threat.