A couple of hookah bar owners have moved the Bombay high court challenging a circular issued by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on July 2 that put an indirect ban on hookah parlours within restaurants.
Bar owners have sought quashing of the circular issued after the high court suggested that the civic body should impose additional restrictions on eating-houses to regulate hookah parlours. Not only had the high court upheld the validity of the circular on July 13, but had also directed the state to issue a directive to other civic bodies across Maharashtra to adopt similar conditions.
However, bar owners insisted that certain legal aspects were not pointed out to the court, and considering the same, a division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice Girish Godbole has posted the petitions for hearing on August 2.
One of the petitioners, Berry Hotels Private Ltd, which runs Cafe Mocha near Churchgate station, stated in its petition that the police began harassing them after the newspaper reports of the circular appeared on July 14.
Berry Hotels has further contended that the BMC had no authority to issue the circular, which runs contrary to the provisions of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act.
The petitioners have sought orders restraining civic officials and the police from taking action against them or stopping the parlours from operating until the final hearing of the petition.