Delhi

Delhi HC tells police not to harass restaurants, bars

The Delhi High Court on Thursday told the city police not to “harass” restaurants and bars, which have filed pleas seeking permission to serve herbal-flavoured hookahs, by parking their vehicles outside the premises.

Justice Rekha Palli said the police can conduct random checks in restaurants and bars to see if hookahs are being served but can’t keep police personnel posted outside the premises as it will affect business.

The counsel for Delhi police said the force will not park vehicles outside the premises but it will conduct random checks on to ensure that they don’t serve hookahs till an order is passed by the court on their petitions.

The court was informed that the order of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority, prohibiting the use of herbal hookahs in public places to contain the spread of COVID-19, will continue to be in force till further orders.

The court asked the Delhi Government to reconsider the issue within five days. In case it still feels that prohibition is necessary, it should file an affidavit, the HC said while posting the case for further hearing on October 29.

On September 17, the High Court had asked the Delhi government why the DDMA’s order prohibiting the use of herbal hookahs in public places was not being reconsidered when breath analyser test was being allowed.

Several restaurants and bars have challenged the DDMA’s order prohibiting the sale or service of herbal-flavoured hookahs.

The restaurants had said they were serving herbal hookahs for which no licence is required as they are totally without tobacco but the police are still conducting raids, seizing equipment and issuing challans.

The Delhi government has said the use of hookah, be it with or without tobacco, at public places, including hotels, restaurants, eateries, bars, pubs and discotheques, in the Capital was strictly prohibited as sharing of hookah could further increase the spread of COVID-19.


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Printable version | Dec 8, 2021 3:50:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/delhi-hc-tells-police-not-to-harass-restaurants-bars/article37118338.ece

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