PVR, Reliance Retail invoke ‘Act of God’, won’t pay rent

JAMMU: PVR Cinemas, India’s largest multiplex chain with more than 870 screens, has decided to inform malls and landlords that they would be invoking ‘force majeure ‘clause in its rental contract to not pay rent for the entire .. period of shutdown across the country.

One of India’s top retailers, Reliance Retail, too may invoke the same clause not to pay rent, sources say.
It has been nearly two weeks since malls have been shut in Chennai, while in some cities such as Jammu, the shutdown had kicked in before that.

“PVR has opted to insist on not paying any rent for the the period of closure. PVR does not own properties and all
and all of its screens operate on rent,” said a source in Chennai-based SPI Cinemas which was acquired by PVR in August 2018.

“There have been no operations for the past two weeks. It will be May 15 for things retail space and malls to normalize, even if the lockdown is lifted before schedule.

“The central government’s order itself talks about majeure’ since these are things beyond anyone’s control. We have nothing specific to add. It is for the Union law ministry to clarify, if there are issues over implementing this for the period of shutdown,” a business development officer with PVR Cinemas said.