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Multiplex association says no order from govt about allowing outside food in theatre

A Maharashtra minister clarified that there is no ban on people carrying outside food into cinema

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MUMBAI: A relief has been granted to cine-goers when a Maharashtra minister stated in the state assembly on Friday that there is no ban on people carrying outside food into cinema theatres.

Opposition in the legislative council Dhananjay Munde also raised the issue of exorbitant rates at multiplexes. Snacks at multiplexes are sold at a premium, significantly over the MRP. The legislation was likely to be enacted from 1 August and hence cinema multiplexes in the state may not be able to overcharge you for a tub of popcorn or a glass of cola, nor can they stop you from bringing in food from outside.

Minister of state for food and civil supplies, Ravindra Chavan, replied saying the centre was readying a law to ensure food cannot be sold at different prices at different places. “There is no prohibition on taking outside food into multiplexes. The state home department is coming up with a policy to deal with this issue,” he said.

Multiplex Association of India (MAI) clarified that none of the multiplex cinema theatres operated by any of the members have received any order, notification or communication to this effect from the government of Maharashtra or any other regulatory authority. Hence they are not aware of any decision to this effect, if taken by the government.

MAI president Deepak Asher said, “Since the matter is currently sub-judice, and since we have no other formal communication from any regulatory authority, we would not like to comment any further on the matter.

A PIL (L) No 82 of 2017 (Jainendra Baxi vs State of Maharashtra) on a similar matter was filed before the Bombay High Court in which the MAI had joined in as a party. At the last hearing, the High Court granted the government pleader further time to seek instructions and file an affidavit regarding its stand on the matter. The above-mentioned petition is pending and is scheduled to be heard on 25 July 2018.

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