After banning individuals from bringing bottled water into theatres, the Madras High Court ordered cinema halls to supply free and clean drinking water. Cinemas restrict moviegoers from bringing bottled water into the theatre, claiming that it poses a security risk since miscreants may bring in liquor or acid.
The ruling was issued by Justice SM Subramanian during a hearing on a complaint concerning food and drink being sold for far more than the maximum retail price (MRP). The judge further said that theatre officials should offer clean water, and that concerned government officials must ensure that filtered drinking water is available.
“Cinema Halls which seek to prohibit carrying drinking water inside cinema halls for security reasons must necessarily provide free potable water through water coolers installed inside the halls before such a prohibition can be enforced,” ordered Justice SM Subramaniam.
According to the petition, drinking water with an MRP of Rs 10 was sold for Rs 30 and a mango drink with an MRP of Rs 25 was sold for Rs 65 at a Perambur theatre. The judge remarked that there are other such complaints pending and ordered the joint commissioner of Legal Metrology to act quickly on them as well as conduct an investigation into the problem.