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HC summons Thane police chief in hookah parlour case

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Raghuvanshi will have to appear before a division bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar.

The bench was hearing a public interest litigation filed by NGO 'Crusade Against Tobacco' claiming that hookah parlours are operating in neighbouring Thane district despite ban imposed on them by the state government.

The petitioner had on the last hearing in November alleged that the local police were trying to shield the owner of a hotel 'Hollywood- 18' located on Ghodbunder Road in Thane.

According to Vincent Nazareth of the NGO, some volunteers of the organisation had in September 2012 spotted more than 100 youngsters smoking hookah at the hotel, but when they approached the local police somebody from the police station tipped off the hotel management and consequently when they raided the hotel the place was cleared of the wrongdoings.

The court had on the last hearing directed Raghuvanshi to file a personal affidavit on this allegation.

However, the court expressed its displeasure over the affidavit, which according to the bench was silent on the incident mentioned by the petitioner.

The PIL said despite the High Court upholding the validity of a circular issued by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in July 2011 by which an implied ban had been imposed on Hookah Parlours running within restaurants and hotels by incorporating three new conditions in their licenses.

On August 6, 2011, the Urban Development Department of the government had also issued a circular instructing all other civic bodies across the state to incorporate similar conditions on licenses issued to eateries within their respective jurisdictions.

  

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