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Monday, October 18, 2021

HC asks Delhi govt to reconsider decision against hookah usage at restaurants, bars

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions filed by a few restaurants and bars for a direction that the authorities not interfere with the sale of herbal-flavoured hookahs.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
September 17, 2021 8:05:06 pm
Delhi High Court says preventive detention unsustainable on ‘stale grounds’Delhi High Court. (File photo)

The Delhi High Court Friday asked the Delhi government why it was not reconsidering its 2020 decision to prohibit the use of herbal hookahs at public places due to Covid-19 when even breath analyser tests by Delhi Police have been resumed now.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions filed by a few restaurants and bars for a direction that the authorities, including police, not interfere with the sale of herbal-flavoured hookahs or take any action against them.

Justice Rekha Palli, while listing the case for hearing on September 30, said it is expected of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority to consider the issue urgently considering the changed circumstances.

“I want you people to apply your mind now. It is very nice to say that ‘Delhi has suffered’. We all know that but when you are opening… and that they are willing to give an undertaking that they will ensure… then you have to take a pragmatic view. Livelihood has also to be balanced,” said the court.

The counsel representing the petitioners told the court that individual hookahs were being provided to customers and sharing was not permitted. Only 5-10 per cent of guests visiting these restaurants wish to use hookahs, which the places have much more in quantity, the court was told.

Delhi’s standing counsel Santosh Kumar Tripathi earlier argued that no type of hookah usage was being allowed and the national capital may have to pay a huge price in case of even a single mistake. “We are wearing masks even when driving a car alone. How can we allow hookah to be shared from one person to another? Hookah is not that important, our lives are…,” Tripathi told the court.

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