New Delhi: Opposing the mushrooming growth of hookah bars in restaurants, the city government on Monday told the Delhi High Court that youngsters are getting attracted to these bars and it may affect their health.
Appearing for Delhi government, Advocate Najmi Waziri told the bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw that "state government has expressed its concern over hookah bars where youngsters are going and which may adversely affect their health."
He said in most of these bars or lounges there is no separate smoking zone and that would effect the health of youngsters.
The government also told the court that "MCD officials should go and see whether restaurants are following the terms of the licence given to them or not."
The court was hearing a plea filed by NGO World Lung Foundation, South Asia though its president GR Khatri, seeking "effective" implementation of anti-smoking laws at public places and preventing restaurants from running `hookah` bars and action against them.
MCD too supported the plea and informed the court that the agency is mulling action against restaurants running illegal hookah bars.
"Licences are issued to restaurants not to run hookah bars but to serve food only, and if they (restaurants) are running hookah bars, it is not permissible," MCD lawyer said.
After hearing the arguments, the court observed that "if there is any violation of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COTPA) by the restaurants, civic agency need to taken action against them."