HYDERABAD: Hookah centre owners in Hyderabad have alleged that police are showing high-handedness towards them by imposing false cases against them. This, despite them abiding by the rules put in place by the cops. Owners of hookah parlours on Saturday spoke to media alleging that Hyderabad police commissioner M Mahendar Reddy has openly declared closure of parlours serving hookah and threatened to book the owners under Preventive Detention Act, without issuing guidelines of sale.
The view of Apex Court in land mark citation (Civil Appeal no 10836 of 2014) Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement, and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act and Prohibition of Smoking Rules, clearly shows serving of hookah in designated smoking area is not included in the other services and prohibiting the same is ultra vires to the Act, they referred.
“The Apex Court ruling does not ban serving hookah in the place specifically specified for smoking, except to the minors. And the new act does not contemplate any licenses for service of hookah or any tobacco products,” the members said.
They alleged that at several places in Hyderabad, especially Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills, the police personnel are showing high-handedness towards owners of hookah parlours and coffee shops by making them kneel down.
“How can the parlours be banned without any notices or guidelines and notifications. The commissioner is violating the orders of High Court and Supreme Court. Last year, on June 26, a contempt case was filed against him in the court, after which he has been unruly towards hookah parlours,” said Advocate Satish, who was defence lawyer for several hookah parlour owners against whom police have booked cases.