NEW DELHI: Delhi high court has said that herbal hookahs not completely prohibited and stayed police’s move to ban all types of hookahs and clarified that those without tobacco or nicotine (herbal) are not completely prohibited.
In a recent order, Justice Navin Chawla granted relief against the circular banning hookah, to an eatery near IGI airport, staying the part where it was not allowed to even sell herbal hookahs.
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The court as decided that herbal hookahs not completely prohibited also underlined that it is evident from the definition of “smoking” as provided in The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COTPA), 2003 that smoking means smoking of tobacco in any form or with the aid of any instrument.
Referring to the direction issued by Delhi Police and the government, the HC noted it “merely directs conducting of raids in all restaurants / eatery houses / hotels to ensure that in name of herbal hookahs nicotine of tobacco is not served.
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Prima facie, it does not completely prohibit the use of hookahs in Delhi.”
The HC, however, made it clear that the eatery would be bound by its undertaking given in the court that the hookahs being served would be purely herbal in nature.
The restaurant owner had moved HC challenging the direction issued by the DCP / IGI Airport last month, prohibiting serving of hookahs in the restaurants / pubs / bars located at Aerocity.