The Delhi Police on Wednesday informed the Delhi High Court that they have asked all Deputy Commissioners of Police to have illegal hookah bars running in city restaurants raided and ensure their closure to comply with the anti-smoking Act.
Delhi Standing Counsel Najmi Waziri made this submission before a Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice A. K. Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw in response to a public interest litigation seeking strict implementation of the anti-smoking law for banning hookah bars at restaurants.
The New Delhi Municipal Council and the three Municipal Corporations of Delhi in their replies informed the Court that they had issued licences to restaurants to serve foods and beverages only.
Petitioner, non-government organisation World Lung Foundation-South Asia, submitted that the municipal bodies should make a provision in the existing licences for running restaurants to ban hookah bars there.
He submitted that the authorities were not effectively implementing the provisions of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003, and the rules framed there under.
He further submitted that the licences issued by erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Delhi to restaurants did not incorporate the necessary terms and conditions making it compulsory for the licencees to comply with the anti-smoking provisions and saying that their breach would entail cancellation or suspension of their licences.
The petition stated that an eating house, which is called a restaurant, is a public place and smoking of tobacco in any form, including cigarettes, cigars, beedis or otherwise with the aid of a pipe, wrapper or any other instruments, is prohibited by under the Act.