Mumbai, October 8: The Maharashtra government has published gazette notification today over necessary changes to the present law that prohibits Hukkah parlours/bars in the state. The state government has introduced a punishment of up to 3 years and a fine up to Rs 1 lakh for the violation of the law. On October 4, the Devendra Fadnavis government imposed a blanket ban on all hookah parlours in the state, with immediate effect. In the earlier notification, the offender would be fined Rs 1 lakh, but in the fresh notification, the government also introduced three years of jail term. Hookah Parlour in Versova Vandalised by Group of People for Serving Hookah
With the imposition of this ban, Maharashtra becomes the second state after Gujarat to ban hookah parlours. In April, an amendment was made to Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COTPA), 2003, by Maharashtra legislature, after which the ban was imposed.
As per reports, after Kamala Mills fire incident in December last year, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis insisted on a blanket ban on hookah parlours. In that incident, 14 people lost their lives due to suffocation. A few years ago, the Bombay High Court also passed an order to impose a regulatory ban on hookah parkours, but it was not fully implemented. However, the government claimed that due to the dispute over the interpretation of the court order, it could not fully implement the ban.