Calcutta High Court stays the decision to close hookah bars

Kolkata, 24 January (Hindustan). The Municipal Corporation had ordered the closure of hookah bars in metropolitan Kolkata and Bidhannagar areas. The Calcutta High Court has put a stay on it on Tuesday. Justice Rajasekhar Mantha has made it clear that there is no law in the state to shut hookah bars suddenly without any reason ...
 

Calcutta High Court stays the decision to close hookah bars

Kolkata, 24 January (Hindustan). The Municipal Corporation had ordered the closure of hookah bars in metropolitan Kolkata and Bidhannagar areas. The Calcutta High Court has put a stay on it on Tuesday. Justice Rajasekhar Mantha has made it clear that there is no law in the state to shut hookah bars suddenly without any reason and hence they cannot be shut down in the metropolis and surrounding areas. Their operations will continue. He said that according to the rule of the Center, there is an exemption on the opening of hookah bars. Despite this, if hookah bars have to be closed, then the state or municipal corporation has to make a new law. Until the implementation of the new law, the order to close it will not be valid.

In early December, Kolkata Municipal Corporation Mayor Firhad Hakim said that all restaurant authorities in the city have been requested to close hookah bars. Later, the Bidhan Nagar Municipal Corporation also took the same decision. On Tuesday, Justice Mantha of the High Court raised questions about that order. In the hearing, he said that the decision taken by the Kolkata and Bidhannagar Municipal Corporations to ban hookah bars in their administrative areas is not valid in law.

Questioning the rights of civic officials in this regard, the judge said why the mayor takes such a decision? From here, a lot of money is earned in the form of revenue. If the police want, they can check whether other substances have been found in the hookah. Where is the harm in using herbal products in the rest of the hookah?

Incidentally, hookah bar officials had petitioned the Kolkata and Bidhannagar Municipal Corporations against this direction. They argued that these bars are being run under the “Central Tobacco Act of 2003”. There are many decisions of the Supreme Court on this. Ignoring that decision, how can the Municipal Corporation take a decision to close the hookah bar? The owners of hookah bars claimed that herbal tobacco was used in their hookahs. On the other hand, Mayor Firhad Hakim said that some chemicals are being given along with hookah in hookah bars, which are injurious to health. That’s why the Municipal Corporation wants to make the city hookah bar free in future.

Regarding the decision to close these hookah bars on Tuesday, the judge said that if anything illegal happens in those hookah bars, the police can take action. In this regard, Justice Mantha told the police that if there is a law, then stop it. If not, make laws and enforce them. You can’t shut down like this before. Hookah bars can run only by following the laws of the central government.

Justice Mantha said that trade license is taken separately for hookah bar. Smoking in public places can be objected to. If a person does not care about his health, then why stop something that gives revenue to the state?

Calcutta High Court stays the decision to close hookah bars

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