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Sunday, December 05, 2021

Prohibition on herbal hookahs: Delhi HC tells police to not unnecessarily harass eateries

The court, however, said that the police are permitted to make random checks as and when necessary.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: October 21, 2021 8:03:14 pm
The petitioner’s counsel responded that the petitioner is directly in contact with the people in Afghanistan and has also sourced the information from Indian World Forum, a non-governmental organisation. (File)

The Delhi High Court Thursday directed the Delhi Police to not “unnecessarily harass or park vehicles” outside eateries that offer herbal flavoured hookahs and directed the Delhi government to reconsider its decision on continuation of the prohibition on the use of the hookahs at public places. The court, however, said that the police are permitted to make random checks as and when necessary.

Justice Rekha Palli passed the order after the restaurants and bars, which have approached the court for lifting of the prohibition in wake of the change in Covid situation, sought reconsideration of the government decision and said that they are willing to serve herbal flavoured hookahs only in open spaces and not permit any sharing among customers.

The court was told that even though the restaurants being run by the petitioners, are providing other services like food, beverages etc, the police in order to “harass” them have parked their vehicles outside their eateries due to which “very few customers are entering the restaurants as they do not want to be harassed in any manner”.

The authorities in response to the submission said that in case the restaurants are willing to abide by the terms of the order prohibiting the use of hookahs, they will ensure that no police vehicles are parked outside. The court was earlier also told that the government has decided to continue with the prohibition on the use of hookahs in all public places including hotels, restaurants, bars etc.

However, the court said that the rights have to be balanced and asked the government to reconsider the decision.

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