Mumbai restaurateur seeks permission from Bombay high court to serve 'herbal' hookah

Updated: May 22, 2019, 13:39 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

According to the Mumbai restaurateur, the provisions of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003, do not apply to tobacco-free hookah hence the authorities can not take action against him

Representational image
Representational image

A Mumbai-based restaurateur has approached the Bombay high court (HC) seeking a declaration on allowing him to serve “herbal” hookah at three rooftop restaurants. In his petition, the restaurateur stated the provisions of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003, do not apply to tobacco-free hookah and the authorities cannot take coercive action against him if he starts serving “herbal” hookah.

He further stated that he had employed more than 400 people in the restaurants but his outlets have been shut after 14 people lost their lives two years ago in a fire tragedy at a rooftop restaurant in Kamala Mills. After the tragic incident, the state amended COTPA and imposed a ban on hookah bars in Mumbai and prescribed imprisonment of up to three years.

Also Read: Maharashtra government introduces bill to ban hookah bars in the state

According to the Hindustan Times, the restaurateur further contended that he had tendered a number of representations to various authorities stating that tobacco-free hookah was not covered under provisions of the recent amendment to COTPA. However, the authorities concerned did not respond to his representations. He also complained that cigarettes are allowed to be sold though it has been proven that smoking causes cancer. But he was being prevented from serving tobacco-free hookah. The petition is likely to come up for hearing after the summer vacation.

Also Read: Two cafes raided in Vashi for serving hookah despite ban

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