Gautam Budh Nagar administration to issue guidelines for operations of hookah bars
The Gautam Budh Nagar district magistrate BN Singh is set to issue guidelines for operations of hookah bars, following an order by the Allahabad high court on April 10 in response to a petition.
As per an estimate, there were around 60 hookah bars in Noida and Greater Noida but 35 of them shut operations after the administration had sent notices to them in September 2017, following complaints that it is detrimental to the health of students.
However, hookah bars are still operational in Greater Noida, which is an education hub, officials said.
Owners of hookah bars had sought relief from the Allahabad high court, after the Expressway police served a notice on January 13, asking hookah bar owners to stop operations in the area. “In the event of a failure to stop the activities, the police shall be left with no option but to seize and seal the hookah bar,” the police notice read.
Hookah bar owners, who had moved the high court against the notice, had contended that running a hookah bar is a valid activity as “The Cigarette and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003” nowhere restricts such activity or treats this as an offence, officials said.
The court had refused to interfere in the matter.
“We do not find any just reason to interfere in the matter while invoking powers under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. However, looking into the allegation that the notice amounts to restriction of free business, we deem it appropriate to direct the district magistrate, Gautam Budh Nagar to look into the entire matter and decide the issue agitated by the petitioners, if they submit a detailed representation to him within a period of 10 days from today with all necessary documents,” the court order stated.
“The Allahabad high court did not provide any relief to the hookah bars. After the HC order, we have decided to prepare guidelines to end any confusion for running hookah bars in the district. We will finalise the guidelines soon,” BN Singh, district magistrate, Gautam Budh Nagar, said.