Hyderabad: The Multiplex Association of India, on Tuesday reacted to the Hyderabad police’s reply to an RTI query filed by a city-based activist. The police had stated that there were no restrictions with regard to customers carrying their own water bottles into multiplex theatres.
The association’s statement noted that many PILs on this issue have been filed and dismissed by High Courts across the country. “Various PILs, including those before the Bombay High Court and the Delhi High Court, have been transferred to the Supreme Court since they are similar issues. The matter is therefore sub-judice. However, in view of the stay granted by the Supreme Court, multiplexes are allowed to regulate the entry of goods and beverages inside their premises,” the statement said.
A representative of Inox Leisure Limited, on condition of anonymity, said it was puzzling that police commented on what has become a national issue. “The situation is confusing. When the matter is sub-judice, we don’t know how (Hyderabad) police said outside food and water cannot be restricted. Since this is a national matter now, it is not clear how relevant a local police department’s response is,” he said.
He claimed that customers "preferred" food and beverages at the theatre. “Inox has registered a massive growth in F&B sales in the past two years. In FY18, our sales were `306 crore; in FY19, they were `436 crore. Clearly, the trends indicate there is a demand for these products,” he said. Since the sale of food and beverages is a monopoly of the theatre owners, customers really have no choice but to buy from them, whatever the price....