HC summons police chief regarding action against hookah joints

Not satisfied with the reply filed by police on action they proposed to take against hookah parlours in the city, a Bombay High Court bench headed by Chief Justice Mohit Shah on Monday summoned Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik.

Updated: May 02, 2011, 17:31 PM IST

Mumbai: Not satisfied with the reply filed by police on action they proposed to take against hookah parlours in the city, a Bombay High Court bench headed by Chief Justice Mohit Shah on Monday summoned Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik.

After reading the affidavit filed by Khar police, the Chief Justice expressed dissatisfaction and asked the police chief to appear before the bench at 5 pm today, to state what action police seek to take against restaurants which serve
hookah in violation of `Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act`.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by NGO `Crusade Against Tobacco`, claiming that several hookah parlours in suburban Khar and Bandra serve tobacco products, including hookahs, to minors, and police do not act against them.

"None of the restaurants have separate smoking and non-smoking sections. This exposes non-smokers to second-hand smoking. This is a clear violation of the provisions of the Act," the petition states.

It further says that the Supreme Court has banned smoking in public places after observing that a non-smoker cannot be compelled to be a victim of air pollution.

"The World Health Organisation estimates that five million people die annually due to tobacco-related illness.

Passive smoking kills six lakh people every year. Police should ensure that all hookah parlours and restaurants follow rules prescribed under the Act," the petition says.

PTI