As the civic body struggles to keep a check on hookah parlours mushrooming in the city, the Bombay high court on Thursday gave it more powers to fight the battle.
The high court has brought hookah parlours under the purview of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), and directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to ensure that these joints comply with the rules and regulations prescribed under this Act.It has granted the BMC six weeks to comply with its order. The crackdown on hookah parlours has been prompted as they give youngsters, especially minors, easy access to smoking and encourage tobacco addiction.
“There is an urgent need to incorporate the terms and conditions of the Act in the licence agreements of hookah parlours. Any violation of the Act will invite revocation of the licence,” a division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice Girish Godbole said.
Bringing hookah parlours under the purview of the COTPA gives the civic body wider powers to act against those that violate rules. If a hookah joint is found serving hookah to a minor, its licence will be suspended, in addition to other action..
Police commissioner Arup Patnaik on Thursday submitted a status report on police action to the court, following a grievance from the petitioner, NGO Crusade Against Tobacco, that the Khar and Bandra police were not taking cognisance of the complaint against hookah parlours.