Representational image
Representational image

High Court, on Friday, stayed that order of collector Bhopal, issued u/s 144 CRPC, through which a blanket prohibition on the operation and running of hookah bars and restaurants was imposed in district Bhopal recently.  The single bench of MP High Court, Jabalpur presided by Justice JK Maheshwari today stayed that order while hearing a petition filed by “Hookah bars, Restaurants and Lounge Association.

The association had assailed the order as one without jurisdiction and passed in excess of powers by the collector Bhopal.
The association which represents more than 100 hookah bar and lounge owners had moved the HC against the collector’s order of November 3, 2018 which had imposed a blanket ban, on the grounds that the minors in youth in Bhopal were getting addicted to tobacco and nicotine, whilst visiting such hookah lounges.

Advocate Siddharth Radhelal Gupta, who appeared on behalf of association, said, “ Our principal ground of challenge to the collectors orders was that it is in the teeth of a recent SC & HC judgments, which have held that collector cannot passed such blanket orders in exercise of powers u/s 144.”

The HC on the submissions of the counsel for the petitioners issued notices to the collector, commissioner, Bhopal and the state Government returnable in 2 weeks, whilst show causing the collector to justify as to why, despite its judgment occupying the field, such a repetitive order u/s 144 CRPC came to be passed by him.

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