High Court Asks Delhi Police Not To Harass Restaurants Over Hookah Prohibition

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The courtroom has listed the matter for additional listening to on October 29.

New Delhi:

The Delhi Excessive Court docket Thursday directed the Delhi Police to not harass eating places and bars, which have filed pleas searching for permission to promote and serve natural flavoured hookahs, and to not park their automobiles exterior their premises.

The courtroom stated the police can do random checks in eating places and bars to see if hookahs are being served however cannot maintain police personnel posted there as it is going to have an effect on prospects.

Justice Rekha Palli took on file the assertion by the counsel for Delhi Police that they won’t park automobiles exterior the premises, topic to random checks by police and that the eating places and bars won’t serve hookahs until an order is handed by the courtroom on their petitions.

The courtroom was knowledgeable that the involved division of the Delhi authorities has re-considered the August 3, 2020 order of the Delhi Catastrophe Administration Authority (DDMA), prohibiting using natural hookah in public locations to include the unfold of COVID-19, and the authorities have reiterated that the restriction would proceed.

The contemporary order was handed by the authorities on October 14, reiterating the stand that prohibition on using hookah will proceed to be enforced until additional orders.

The excessive courtroom directed the Delhi authorities to rethink the matter inside 5 days and in case, they nonetheless really feel prohibition is important, an affidavit be filed on this regard.

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It listed the matter for additional listening to on October 29.

The courtroom had earlier issued discover and sought a response from the Delhi authorities on separate pleas by a number of eating places and bars searching for to direct the state and police to not intervene with the sale of natural flavoured hookahs or take coercive steps towards them.

The courtroom had earlier additionally directed the authorities to rethink the matter in view of modified circumstances.

Throughout the listening to, the petitioner’s counsel stated the October 14 order has been handed by the authorities on the presumption that hookah is being served in closed locations and on sharing foundation.

The counsel stated they have been able to make an announcement that they’ll serve it solely in open house and disposable pipes shall be utilized in hookah and it’ll not be on sharing foundation.

The counsel additional stated although eating places are offering different providers additionally, to be able to harass them, police have parked their automobiles exterior the premises as a result of which only a few prospects are getting into there.

The eating places stated they don’t wish to be harassed as it’s having a deterrent impact on their enterprise and they don’t seem to be with the ability to earn a livelihood.

On September 17, the excessive courtroom had requested the Delhi authorities why DDMA’s order prohibiting using natural hookah in public locations to include the unfold of COVID-19 be not re-considered when breath analyser take a look at was being allowed now.

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Separate petitions have been filed by Breath Superb Lounge and Bar, TOS, R Excessive Speedbar and Lounge, Verandah Moonshine, and Sixth Empirica Lounge in West Punjabi Bagh, difficult the order of the Joint Commissioner of Police (Licensing Unit) prohibiting and excluding the sale or service of natural flavoured hookahs in restaurant/bar being run by them.

The pleas stated the petitioners are serving natural hookahs for which no licence is required as they’re completely with out tobacco however the police are nonetheless conducting raids, seizing gear, and issuing challans.

The petitioners’ counsel had earlier stated so long as the eating places undertake to not use nicotine in hookah, they can’t be prohibited from finishing up their companies.

The pleas have sought to declare that definition of “smoking” below the Cigarettes and Different Tobacco Merchandise Act (COTPA), doesn’t cowl natural flavoured hookahs and to direct the authorities to not take any excessive step of suspension or cancellation of registration certificates of the petitioners.

The Delhi authorities has been opposing the pleas saying for a single mistake, your entire Delhi must pay a heavy value, and permitting hookah consumption in public locations could unfold COVID-19 since folks could be sharing it.

The Delhi authorities has stated using hookah, be it with or with out tobacco, in all public locations together with motels, eating places, eatery homes, bars, pubs, and discotheques, within the nationwide capital is strictly prohibited because the use or sharing of hookah could additional improve the unfold of COVID-19.

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Delhi authorities counsel had referred to the August 3, 2020 order handed by the Well being Division which noticed that in public locations, use and sharing of hookah with and with out tobacco (natural hookah) could additional improve the unfold of coronavirus.

“Now, subsequently, within the train of powers conferred by the Delhi Epidemic Illnesses, COVID-19, Laws, 2020 below the Epidemic Illnesses Act, 1897, using hookah (with or with out tobacco, that’s, natural hookah, water pipes, and different hookahs like units) in all public locations together with motels, eating places, eatery homes, bars, pubs, discotheques, and many others, of the NCT of Delhi is strictly prohibited with rapid impact, for the aim of prevention and management of the outbreak of epidemic illness particularly COVID-19 in NCT of Delhi,” the Delhi authorities order stated.

(Aside from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is printed from a syndicated feed.)