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Free Drinking Water Will Soon Be Available Inside All Movie Theatres in India

As per a recent ruling by National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), movie theatres across the country must provide free and pure drinking water inside the halls, instead of compelling customers to purchase overpriced bottled water from their cafeterias. 

Planning to go for a movie? You won’t have worry about spending that extra cash to purchase bottled water inside the theatre any more. All thanks to a recent ruling by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) which says that all movie theatres have to provide free drinking water facilities inside the halls.

As per the ruling, theatre owners can be held liable for unfair trade practices or “deficiency of service” if they don’t provide free drinking water which is a basic necessity, and also don’t allow consumers to carry their own water inside the theatre.


Picture for representation only. Photo Credit: Nicolas Mirguet/Flickr

Not everyone can afford to purchase the bottled water from their cafeterias which are sold at unreasonably high rates.

“A movie watcher may include old and infirm persons as well as the children for whom it would be difficult to manage without water for three hours or more,” said the ruling bench headed by Justice V K Jain.

Thus, the bench had made it obligatory for the theatres to provide water inside the halls. All theatres which compel customers to buy overpriced bottles by not allowing them to carry their own water will be held liable and will have to pay the appropriate compensation.

This order came in as a result of an appeal filed by Agartala-based Rupasi Multiplex against the Tripura State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission decision, which had said that not providing free drinking water to consumers will be a deficiency of service on the part of theatre management. Three Agartala residents had moved the forum against Rupasi Multiplex after they were not allowed to carry water inside and were told that the only other option is to purchase the expensive bottles.

The multiplex has been directed to pay Rs. 10,000 to the family in the form of a compensation for deficiency of service, along with an additional 1,000 as a cost of litigation.

The bench has also specified that water purifiers must be installed with water coolers and availability of disposable glasses in sufficient numbers. The coolers should also be serviced regularly.

Once this order is implemented, it will be a great relief for movie lovers who won’t have to add the exorbitant cost of water to the amount they spend on tickets.

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