SLP filed against order on Multiplexes; SC partially stays judgment

JAMMU, AUG 10: Supreme Court of India stayed the order whereby Division Bench of J&K High Court ordered that Multiplex/ Cinema Hall Owners of the State of J&K are directed not to prohibit cinema goers/viewers henceforth from carrying his/ her own food articles and water inside the theatre.
This significant order has been passed in an SLP filed by Multiplex Association Of India & Anr against the judgment of J&K High Court in PIL in which the Division Bench of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court directed Multiplexes/Cinema Halls Owners of the State of J&K not to prohibit cinema goers/viewers henceforth from carrying his/her own food articles and water inside the theatre. The Government of J&K as well as Licensing Authority/ every District Magistrate in the State is directed to ensure henceforth complete ban of polythene bags in the Multiplexes/ Cinema Halls. Further, Multiplex/Cinema Hall owners are also directed to erect sign boards at conspicuous places requesting the cinema viewers not to litter waste food articles, bottles etc. in the multiplexes/ Cinema Halls. The Government of J&K as well as Licensing Authority/ every District Magistrate in the State is directed to ensure proper uniformity be maintained with respect to the sale price of tickets in all the cinemas of the State in terms of Rule 87(i) & (ii) of the Jammu & Kashmir Cinemas (Regulation) Rules, 1975. The Government of J&K as well as Licensing Authority/every District Magistrate in the State is directed to ensure proper compliance of Rule 88. They are also directed to ensure strict compliance of Rule 88(ix), which provides that no person between the age of 5 years to 18 years shall be admitted to any show commencing before 3.00 PM except on Sunday or any notified holiday by the Government of J&K. The Government as well as Every District Magistrate in the State is directed to see and ensure that these directions are complied with forthwith in its true letter and spirit and in case of any breach of these directions on the part of any Multiplex/Cinema Halls owners, take stern action against them and even revoke the license of such Multiplex/ Cinema Hall owners. If, henceforth, any District Magistrate fails to comply with the aforesaid directions, the State Government is directed to take appropriate action against such District Magistrate under rules. All District Magistrates of the State are directed to give wide publicity to this order in all the three regions of the State through print as well as electronic media so that general masses of the State could be aware of the order.
A Bench of Supreme Court comprising Justice Rohinton Nariman and Indu Malhotra on an SLP filed by All India Association of Multiplexes stayed only one portion of the judgment passed in PIL and refused to stay rest of the six points of judgment and DC is directed to regulate the ticket process immediately. Sr. Advocate Bimal Roy Jad, Advocate Aditya Sharma and Advocate Dheeraj Choudhary appeared on behalf of Pvt. Respondent where as Sr. Advocate Mukul Rohatagi, Sr. Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi (MP Rajya Sabha), Sr. Advocate Vishwanath and a battery of advocates appeared on behalf of the Multiplexes Association of India, Wave Mall and K.C. Cineplex. Advocates for the respondent pleaded that the order is implemented in the state for the last more than twenty days and is smoothly going on and even showed the photographs to this extent as well Appellant’s Counsel had taken the plea of security and pleaded that it will amount to security threat as they are not having enough security measures to check the crowd and scanners and they need time and money for the same.
After hearing the parties the SC declined to stay the portion of judgment with respect to the ticket prices but stayed the judgment only to the extent it pertains to the eatables to be taken inside as time and money both is required for the same. Further Advocates for Pvt Respondents were directed to file counter affidavit within a period of two weeks and rejoinder within four weeks. It further ordered that till then eatables shall not be allowed inside that the DC shall regulate the ticket prices in the multiplexes immediately. JNF