New Delhi [India], September 24 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Thursday refused to entertain a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking directions to conduct immediate inspection and action against owners of the hookah bars operating illegally, without any statutory license in south Delhi, after finding several discrepancies in the petition.
The bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan showed displeasure with the petitioner and said the matter deserved to be dismissed with a heavy cost, though keeping in view the present pandemic situation, the same is not being imposed and asked him to withdraw.
The petition sought directions to civic agency and Delhi government to immediately close, seal off such premises if found in contravention of the laws, and submit an action taken report vis-a-vis the progress and list of the illegal hookah bars running in their jurisdiction.
The plea also sought a direction to Delhi Police to start inspection and take immediate action against the owners of hookah bars whether licensed or non-licensed, eatery houses and restaurants wherever the sale of hookah is continuing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic which is in complete violation of notification of the Delhi government dated August 3, 2020, and effect the immediate shut down of such premises, if found in violation of the said notification till further orders of the court.
The plea also sought the direction of forming a monitoring committee, comprising of State Nodal Officer of State Tobacco Control Cell and other commissioners/chief inspectors or any other officers as the court may deem fit, under the supervision of the court, for monitoring the effective compliance of COTPA or other related laws while issuing licenses to Hookah Bars in South Delhi and to inspect and seal or take appropriate actions as per the law against such Hookah Bars if found in contravention of any smoking, license, and other related laws.
It mentioned that these illegal 'hookah bars', are blatantly selling/serving liquor to adults as well as persons who are underage, according to law without having the requisite liquor license.
Such activities are causing loss to the state exchequer and burning a hole in the government's pocket as the said activities amount to tax evasion, it added. (ANI)