After the tragic fire incident at Kamala Mills, the state has introduced a bill to ban hookah. on Tuesday, the government proposed to amend the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA)’s application in Maharashtra.
This bill might lead to many hookah bars in Mumbai to run out business. The fire caused at Kamala Mills was due to the embers of hookahs served. This ghastly incident took 14 lives.
the bill has also proposed a minimum imprisonment for a year for those who still continue to run hookah bars after the ban. There will also be a fine of a minimum of Rs.50,000 imposed and a maximum of 1 lakh.
The statement read: “No person shall, either on his own or on behalf of any other person, open or run any hookah bar in any place including the eating house,” state the Bill. The proposed law allows any police officer of the rank of assistant inspector or above “to seize any material or article used as a subject or means of hookah bar”.
Om the amendment, the government said that there so many hookah bars scattered about in the state, in Navi Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and many other cities. These bars are either run alone or in conjecture with restaurants.
“Minors and collegian are attracted to these bars. At present, there is no law in respect to hookah bars, therefore, no legal action can be taken. It is, therefore, necessary to regulate hookah bars by law,” reads the statement of objects and reasons.
All eateries will have to be defined as per the Maharashtra Police Act after the COPTA is amended. This means that where there is any kind of food and/or drink supplied for consumption by any eatery, there should not be “a place of public entertainment” included.