Madras High Court rules that movie theaters must provide free drinking water if they ban bringing water from outside.
Petition Against Exorbitant Pricing In Theatres
The court acknowledged the security reasons behind the ban, such as those who try to transport alcohol, mix water with acid, and even use bottle bombs.
The ruling was handed down during the hearing of a petition filed by G Devarajan in 2016 against the management of S2 Cinemas and Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages Private Limited.
He protested against the higher than Maximum Retail Price (MRP) pricing of bottled water and soft drinks in S2 cinemas in the state.
Water Must Be Purified
The court’s order specified that the free potable and pure drinking water must be provided through water coolers installed inside the cinema halls.
The coolers also have to be fitted with water purifiers such as Aqua-guards to ensure purity and quality.
The water purifiers have to remain fully functional and regularly serviced.
It further asked the halls to ensure drinking water facilities are provided at all times- before the movie starts, throughout the screening including the interval.
Obey Or Face Fines
A sufficient number of disposable glasses also has to be made available near the coolers.
If the orders are not followed, the owner of the cinema hall would be liable to pay compensation for the deficiency in rendering services.
Periodic and surprise inspections will also be carried out to ensure that drinking water facilities, toilet facilities, etc are being properly maintained in the theatres.