Maha suspends police officer for conniving with hookah parlour
Mumbai: Maharashtra government has suspended a police sub-inspector and initiated departmental inquiry against him for allegedly conniving with a hookah parlour in neighbouring Thane district, the Bombay High Court was informed Thursday.
Government pleader D A Nalavade told a division bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and K K Tated that sub inspector (Thane Rural) Narendra Kolte has been placed under suspension for conniving with a hookah parlour and alerting its owner of an impending police raid, and departmental inquiry launched against him.
The bench was hearing a PIL filed by NGO `Crusade Against Tobacco` claiming that hookah parlours are operating in Thane despite the government ban.
The petitioner had on the last hearing in November 2012 alleged that the local police were trying to shield the owner of hotel `Hollywood- 18`, located on Ghodbunder Road in Thane.
According to Vincent Nazareth of the NGO, some volunteers of the organisation had in September 2012 spotted more than 100 youngsters smoking hookah at the hotel, but when they approached the local police somebody from the police station tipped off the hotel management and consequently when they raided the hotel the place was cleared of the wrongdoings.
The high court had rapped the police on the last occasion for failing to identify the police official who informed the hookah parlour owner about the raid.
Observing that Kolte had committed dereliction of duty, the bench sought to know what charges will be levied against him. The court has directed the government to submit its chargesheet against Kolte before it on March 14 for perusal.
In August last year, the government had issued a circular to all civic bodies imposing ban on hookah parlours.
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