‘Herbal hookah’ will be sold in Delhi’s restaurants and bars, High Court gives interim relief for sale
Delhi High Court in the national capital Restaurant & Bar I on Tuesday allowed the use of ‘herbal hookahs’ for a short time and said that at the cost of livelihood covid-19 restrictions cannot be allowed to continue. ‘Herbal hookahs’ are made from organic herbs and do not contain tobacco. A single bench of Justice Rekha Palli, hearing petitions filed by several restaurants and bars, said the ban was imposed in the wake of the global pandemic and it “cannot be continued forever”. He also emphasized that cinema halls and swimming pools in the city have now opened at full capacity. The petition sought removal of the ban on the sale of ‘herbal hookahs’.
The court clarified that it is providing only interim relief and for this the petitioners will have to give an affidavit that they will ensure compliance of the guidelines of COVID-19 while selling ‘herbal hookahs’. The matter will now be heard further on February 9.
“On the submission of the petitioners’ affidavit, the respondent (Delhi government) shall not impose any restriction on the sale of herbal hookahs till further hearing of the matter,” the justice said. The respondent can come to the court if the cases of Kovid-19 increase. The court directed the Delhi government to clarify its stand on the petitions and “self-determination” if other restaurants and bars seek permission to sell herbal hookahs following the COVID-19 guidelines.
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‘Police was cutting challan’
Separate petitions were filed by West Punjabi Bagh’s Breath Fine Lounge & Bar, TOS, R High Speedbar & Lounge, Veranda Moonshine and Sixth Empirica Lounge, stating that they were selling ‘herbal hookah’, (For which no license is required as they do not contain tobacco at all) But the police are still conducting raids, confiscating equipment and issuing 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.
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