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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Reply on hookah use at restaurants unclear, clarify DDMA stand: HC to Delhi govt

The court had earlier asked the Delhi government to reconsider its decision of prohibiting the use of hookahs at public places, after taking into account the present Covid-19 situation in the capital.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: October 1, 2021 8:19:09 am
banned hookah bars in chandigarh, covid-19, chandigarh police, chandigarh clubs, lockdown, nightclubs in chandigarh, illegal serving of hookah in chandigarhThe Delhi government had 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. (Representational Image)

The Delhi High Court Thursday expressed unhappiness over the reply filed by the government in a case challenging the prohibition on use of herbal flavoured hookahs at public places in the capital, and granted the State a week’s time to inform it about the decision of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA).

The court had earlier asked the Delhi government to reconsider its decision of prohibiting the use of hookahs at public places, after taking into account the present Covid-19 situation in the capital. Justice Rekha Palli Thursday said the response filed does not answer whether the DDMA has reconsidered the decision which was taken in August 2020.

“This is not acceptable,” said the court, while hearing a bunch of petitions filed by a few restaurants and bars for a direction that the authorities, including police, do not to interfere with the sale of herbal flavoured hookahs or take any action against them.

Granting a week’s time to the Delhi government, the court said the reply to be filed must specially state whether the DDMA has “reconsidered the matter and if yes, the reasons for continuing this prohibition”. The case has been listed for hearing on October 8.

On September 17, the counsel representing the petitioners had told the court that individual hookahs were being provided to customers and sharing is not permitted. Only 5-10% of the guests visiting these restaurants are desirous of using hookahs which the places have much more in quantity, the court was told.

The Delhi government had 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… Hookah is not that important, our lives are …,” it had said.

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