HC dismisses plea against ban on sale of herbal hookah

HC dismisses plea against ban on sale of herbal hookah
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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition seeking a direction to the city government to not interfere with the sale and service of herbal hookahs in restaurants.

Justice V Kameswar Rao noted that all restaurants and pubs have been closed by virtue of an order passed by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority on January 11 on account of the surge in positive cases of COVID-19.

The judge said that no directions can be passed on the petition by a restaurant owner.

Delhi government counsel Santosh Kumar Tripathi said that the government authorities are reviewing the situation of the pandemic in consultation with experts and the larger public interest.

He stated that when an order was passed by the court in November last year to permit the sale of herbal hookahs in restaurants, there was no surge of COVID-19 cases and the ban was on account of an order passed by the Delhi health department and not DDMA.

In view of the order dated January 11, 2022, no direction can be given as sought in the writ petition. The order dated November 16 is distinguishable. There is no merit in the petition and the same is dismissed, the court ordered.

Lawyer Anubhav Singh, appearing for the petitioner, sought direction from the court to stop the authorities from interfering in the sale and service of herbal hookah from the establishment of the petitioner.

He submitted that the court had earlier passed an order on November 16 last year to permit its sale and service subject to compliance with COVID-19 appropriate behaviour.

The petitioner contended that the ban of herbal hookah violated rights guaranteed under Articles 14, 19(1)(g), and Article 21 of the Constitution.