Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court granted conditional permission to run hookah parlour and directed the police not to harass the owners of the hookah parlour. The High Court issued the above orders while disposing of a writ petition filed by Habeeb Abu Bakr Al-Hamid, owner of Prestigious Lounge Hookah & Cafe Chandrayangutta in Hyderabad.
The High Court, in its order, said that under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003, commonly known as the COPTA Act 2003, there is no need to obtain a separate license to run the hookah parlour, but according to the same law, restaurants and cafeterias with a capacity of more than 30 seats, the owners of the restaurants can allow consumers to smoke in a separate corner.
Restaurant owners who have separate areas for smoking and hookah should report the same to the Station House Officer so that they can keep a check on the activities carried out in the allotted area and see if there is any violation under the law and the business is being conducted adhering to the rules and procedures.
However, Police should not harass the operators of such parlours. If there is any abuse on the part of the police, it should be brought to the notice of the higher authorities and they should investigate it and take appropriate action.
The Court, however, said that it cannot instruct competent authorities not to enter the hookah parlour to inspect them.