PUNE: Protesting against the high prices of popcorn, beverages and other food items in the movie hall, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers on Thursday thrashed a movie theatre manager in Pune.
Justifying their action, a party worker said that the manager was dealt with in MNS style. "Popcorn worth Rs 5 is being sold at Rs 250. The Bombay HC has already said that a reduction in prices is needed. We told the manager to read news reports, but he said he doesn't know how to read Marathi. Then we dealt with him MNS style," MNS leader Kishor Shinde said.
The Bombay High Court had recently reprimanded the state government over the overpriced food and drinks at cinema halls and multiplexes. The court had on Wednesday asked the state to impose some regulation on the sale prices, saying that they are going through the roof.
The court had asked: "exorbitant prices are being charged. A product costing Rs 10 outside is sold for Rs 250 inside the multiplexes. Can the state government not regulate them?"
The observation was made during the hearing of a public interest litigation filed by Jainendra Baxi seeking to control the prices. Baxi, through his lawyer Aditya Pratap, has argued that the Maharashtra Cinemas (Regulation) Rules prohibit the sale of food inside theatres. "This rule is openly flouted... New theatres have buttons right on the seats that enable viewers to call for a waiter and have food delivered to the seats," the plea states.
However, the Multiplex Association of India had argued that can people who go to five-star hotels, determine the price of the things that are sold there. It had argued that food/beverages sold in multiplexes are a luxury and they are not compelling anyone to buy them. During the hearing, the HC had asked the state to come up with regulation to curb 'exorbitant' prices of food, beverages at multiplexes.