DAYS AFTER MNS workers allegedly assaulted an assistant manager of a multiplex in Pune for selling “overpriced” popcorn inside a movie hall, the Multiplexes Owners’ Association on Monday moved the Bombay High Court seeking an urgent hearing on the matter.
The association sought directions from the court to clarify that the comments made by the bench on the previous hearing were observations and not an order. However, the court refused to grant any urgent hearing and said it will hear the matter on the fixed date, July 25.
Last week, a division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Anuja Prabhudessai, while hearing a PIL, had said: “The prices of food and beverages sold in multiplexes are exorbitant.” The court had said that while it understands if the state can’t permit the public to carry food from home, but “why can’t it regulate the prices of food sold inside theatres”. It had asked the government to see if it can regulate prices of food items sold in the theatres under the Bombay Police Act.
On Monday, the Multiplexes Owners’ Association counsel told the court that some political parties have misconstrued the observations made by the bench as an order of the court. The counsel said the parties are vandalising some multiplexes and had also assaulted a manager in Pune. Refusing to clarify its order, the court said people can print a copy of the order from the court’s website and show it to those who have allegedly misconstrued it.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by Jainendra Baxi, which states that there is no law that prohibits people from carrying food inside theatres. On June 28, around 15 MNS workers had allegedly created ruckus at a Pune multiplex and thrashed a staffer, claiming that food items were being sold at higher prices. The party workers allegedly beat up assistant manager Vinodkumar Mali, who lodged a complaint, following which the workers were arrested.
The five men, including former MNS corporator Kishor Shinde, were released on bail on Saturday.