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Hookah Case

In November 2010 Crusade against Tobacco through its Chairman Vincent Nazareth filed a Public Interest Litigation in the Hon’ble Bombay High Court to seek directions against hookah bars in the city of Mumbai which are operating in contravention of COTPA and Rules there under. In the PIL, the petitioner has made grievances that the respondent authorities are not effectively implementing the COTPA provisions. The particular grievance is that the eating houses which are granted licenses by the Municipal Corporations under Bombay Shops and Establishment Act, 1948 also run hookah bars flouting the smoke free laws.

In the given PIL, Bombay High Court has delivered a landmark judgment imposing a complete ban on the Hookah parlours throughout the State of Maharashtra. On the directions of the Bombay High Court, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) incorporated stringent terms and conditions in the Eating House licenses issued u/s 394 of Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1888. The circular was upheld by the Bombay high court by an Order dated July 13, 2011, in the order the Hon’ble Court has also directed the State Government to notify other corporations and municipal councils to implement the same circular.

As per the BMC circular, the licensee shall not keep or allow to keep or sell or provide any tobacco or tobacco related products in form of cigarettes, bidi or otherwise with the aid of pipe, wrapper or any other instrument in the licensed premises.

The PIL was disposed of by an order dater October 5, 2011.

All the orders read together states:
  1. Banned the sale of tobacco/products, including hookahs, in all eateries.

  2. Similar conditions ought to be incorporated by the Municipal Corporations/Councils in other regions of the State and an instruction to that effect will be issued within one month.

  3. Made COTPA compliance a part of licensing procedure for eateries.

  4. Imposed fine of Rs 5,000 to 25,000 on the owners of eateries with violations

  5. If any complaint is lodged by the Municipal Corporation Mumbai, the concerned Metropolitan Magistrate shall take up such cases for hearing and decide them within two months from the date of institution of the complaints.

Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai Circular, under which they have incorporated the smoke free provisions of Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 and Rules thereunder.

MCGM Circular

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