India

COVID-19: Restaurants, bars urge HC to direct Delhi govt, police not to interfere in sale of herbal hookah

By PTI

New Delhi: Several restaurants and bars on Wednesday urged the Delhi High Court to direct the AAP government and the police not to interfere in the sale of herbal flavored hookah or take strict action against them.

The Delhi government had opposed the petition, which said that the use of hookah in all public places, including hotels, restaurants, eateries, bars, pubs and discos in the national capital, with or without tobacco, is prohibited for use or sharing. strictly prohibited. Hookah consumption can further increase the spread of COVID-19.

Justice Rekha Palli listed the matter for further hearing on September 20 as the counsel for the petitioner Restaurant and Bar said that he would file an additional affidavit.

??They (Delhi government) have problem with shared hookah which can lead to spread of COVID-19. If 40 people are using 10 hookahs, then it is a problem, ?? The court said that this is a completely different situation.

Senior advocate Sandeep Sethi, representing the petitioner entities, submitted that as long as the restaurants undertake not to use nicotine in hookah, they cannot be barred from carrying on their business.

Delhi government’s standing counsel Santosh Kumar Tripathi referred to the order of August 3, 2020 passed by the Health Department, which states that the use and sharing of hookah with and without tobacco (herbal hookah) in public places can cause transmission of coronavirus. The spread may increase further.

Therefore, now, in exercise of the powers conferred by the Delhi Epidemic Diseases, COVID-19, Regulations, 2020 under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, the use of hookah (with or without tobacco, i.e. herbal hookah, water pipes) and Other hookah-like devices) are strictly prohibited with immediate effect in all public places including hotels, restaurants, eateries, bars, pubs, discotheques etc. in the National Capital Territory of Delhi for the purpose of prevention and control of outbreak of epidemics. A disease called COVID-19 in NCT of Delhi, ?? As stated in the order of Delhi Govt.

Separate petitions were filed by Breathe Fine Lounge and Bar, TOS, R High Speedbar and Lounge, Veranda Moonshine and Sixth Empirica Lounge in West Punjabi Bagh, challenging the order of the Joint Commissioner of Police (Licensing Unit) and The sale or service was restricted and excluded. Herbal flavored hookahs in the restaurant/bar run by them.

The pleas said that the petitioners are serving herbal hookah for which no license is required as they are completely without tobacco but the police are still conducting raids, seizing equipment and issuing challans.

It sought to declare that the definition of “smoking” under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), does not cover herbal flavored hookah and that the authorities have no right to suspend or cancel the registration certificate of the petitioners. Instructs not to take extreme steps.

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