DCP bans all forms of hookahs in Panchkula
PANCHKULA: Deputy commissioner of police Parul Jain banned all form of hookahs being offered at hookah bars in the city under Section 144 of CrPC on Wednesday.
The DCP said, “I have acted on the recommendation of district drug control officer Pooja Chaudhary. With the implementation of the order all forms of hookah will be prohibited.”
Chaudhary confirmed that she had been pressing for it for the last one month as lot of hookah bars had started offering molasses, which they claimed free of nicotine, in hookahs thus, bypassing the high court order.
Chaudhary was even honoured by the Haryana health minister for her services in the campaign against hookah bars.
The order of the DCP has come into effect from Wednesday and will remain in force till July 29. Any person found guilty for the violation of aforesaid order shall be liable for punishment under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and FIRs will be registered. Under Section 188 of the IPC one may be punished with imprisonment for up to six months, or with fine, which may extend to Rs 1,000, or with both.
The raids at hookah bars started on October 19, 2011, following the high court order, which came on a public interest litigation filed by a Chandigarh-based NGO, Burning Brain Society. The high court bench had held that addition of nicotine in its chemical form in any substance was a violation of Article 21 (Right to Life) of the Constitution.
A total of 13 hookah bars have been raided so far. But after that, the owners resorted to offering herbal molasses. However, following the DCP order, all hookah bars have to close down now.