- Delhi High Court heard the petition of the owners twice
- The government has been given two weeks to file its reply.
- Will serve only herbal hookahs with use of ‘disposable pipe’
The Delhi High Court has twice sought response of the Aam Aadmi Government on the plea of the owners, seeking to restrain the authorities from interfering in their business of serving herbal hookah. The High Court had allowed herbal hookah in November. A single bench of Justice Rekha Palli said that the interim leave of the court is within the scope of the petitioner owners to file an affidavit in person that the herbal hookahs, which they serve using ‘disposable pipes’, will be absolutely nicotine free and the existing COVID- 19 Protocol will be strictly followed.
Four weeks time to file reply
The court has issued notice to the Delhi government. The court has given the Delhi government four weeks to file its reply. The court fixed February 9 as the next date of hearing in the matter. The Delhi High Court had on November 16 allowed the use of ‘herbal hookahs’ in restaurants and bars in the national capital for a short period of time. The court had said that the continuation of Covid-19 restrictions cannot be allowed at the cost of livelihood.
Similar orders passed on two separate petitions
The petitioners submitted that they are filing an affidavit before the court with reference to the November 16 order, that they will serve only herbal hookahs with the use of ‘disposable pipes’, following the COVID-19 protocol. The court on December 24 passed similar orders on two separate petitions by Ditas, a unit of ‘Shrinathji Equipments Pvt Ltd’ and ‘Cafe After Hours’, a unit of M/s LKG Hospitality Pvt Ltd.
Government should take its own decision on permission to sell herbal hookah
The court, in its November 16 order, had clarified that it was granting only interim relief and for this the petitioners would have to give an undertaking that they would ensure compliance of the COVID-19 guidelines while selling ‘herbal hookahs’. The court had directed the Delhi government to clarify its stand on the petitions and said that if other restaurants and bars seek permission to sell herbal hookah in compliance with the COVID-19 guidelines, it will “self-decide”. ‘ Take.
Petition against police raid
Several lounge and bar owners had filed separate petitions, saying they were selling ‘herbal hookahs’ (which require no license as they contain no tobacco at all) but the police again It is also conducting raids, confiscating equipment and making challans. The petitioners had also challenged the order of the Joint Commissioner of Police (Licensing Unit), which had banned the sale or service of herbal hookah.