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Delhi High Court Permits Herbal Hookahs In Restaurants, Bars Subject To Covid Protocol

Nupur Thapliyal
16 Nov 2021 11:51 AM GMT
Delhi High Court Permits Herbal Hookahs  In Restaurants, Bars Subject To Covid Protocol
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The Delhi High Court has permitted the service and sale of herbal hookahs as an interim measure in the restaurants and bars in the national capital subject to them complying with the covid 19 protocols, use of disposable pipes and serving only in public spaces. Justice Rekha Palli said that the restaurants and pubs shall file individual undertaking that they will serve only herbal hookahs...

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The Delhi High Court has permitted the service and sale of herbal hookahs as an interim measure in the restaurants and bars in the national capital subject to them complying with the covid 19 protocols, use of disposable pipes and serving only in public spaces.

Justice Rekha Palli said that the restaurants and pubs shall file individual undertaking that they will serve only herbal hookahs subject to covid 19 protocols.

The Court also added that the Delhi Government and other authorities will be restrained from interfering with the service of herbal hookah by the petitioners in their restaurants.

The Court was hearing the pleas challenging an order of the Joint Commissioner of Police, prohibiting sale and service of herbal hukkahs in restaurants and bars.

"Now that you've opened everything, cinema hall full strength. What is happening now? You want to ban hookah then that's fine. You have a right. Nobody is stopping you. For one and a half months this petition is up and down. I did not want to interfere in your covid protocol. Today what remains? The DDMA doesn't say anything," the Court said to the respondents.

While posting the matter to February 9, the Court granted six weeks time to the respondents for filing counter affidavit in the matter and further two weeks time for filing rejoinder.

"Subject to undertaking being filed before this court, Respondents will stand restrained from interfering with the service of herbal hookah by the petitioners in their restaurants," the Court added.

Earlier, the Delhi Government had told the Court that the use and service of hookahs in restaurants and pubs is in contravention of State's Fire Prevention & Safety Act, 1986.

While the petitioners had submitted that they serve hookahs in open spaces and do not allow sharing of pipes, the Delhi Government had taken a stand that it cannot permit serving or use of herbal hukkahs even in open spaces or with the use of disposable pipes because it still affects the health of children and promotes tobacco hookah in the garb of herbal hukkahs.

The petitioners had contended that individual hukkahs are provided to the customers in the restaurants and eatery houses run by them and that they are not shared with other customers at any cost.

Earlier, the Court had asked the Disaster Management Authority of the Delhi Government to consider and resolve the issue of allowing restaurants and bars to serve and sell Herbal Hukkahs, on an urgent basis.

Case Title: Breathe Fine Lounge & Bar v. GNCTD

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