The hookah parlours in the city have come under the high court’s scanner with a public interest litigation being filed challenging their operations across the city.
A division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice DG Karnik of the Bombay high court summoned a police officer concerned from the Khar police station after the PIL alleged inaction on the police’s part against a hookah parlour operating in the neighbourhood.
The PIL, filed by NGO Crusade Against Tobacco and its member Vincent Nazareth, states that several hookah parlours are in violation of the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labeling) Act (COTPA).
Citing the example of Sagar Restaurant, at Pali Hill in Bandra, which runs a hookah parlour, the PIL states there is no separate smoking area provided as required under the Smoke Free Rules, 2008.
“This was exposing non-smoking customers to second hand smoke,” stated the petition.
It also stated that the hookah was served directly in the sheesha in a loose form and was not packaged as per the Packaging and Labeling rules, 2008.
Nazreth said school children are regular customers at such hookah parlours. “I have tried to file a complaint against Sagar Restaurant with the police. However, no action has been taken by them,” Nazreth said.
The court asked Nazreth to include a police officer from Khar police station as respondent to the PIL and then directed him to remain present in court on May 2.
Additional government pleader, KR Belosay, said “Action will be taken against the concerned persons,” said Belosay.