Maharashtra Government on Thursday issued a notification and placed a blanket ban on hookah parlours throughout the state with immediate effect. The notification comes after a bill was passed by State Legislature in April 2018 and was later assented by the President.
The amendment in Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COTPA), 2003 imposes a fine of Rs 1 lakh and imprisonment of up to three years for violations. The amendment has also made the offence non-cognisable.
Maharashtra is the second state after Gujarat to put a blanket ban on hookah parlours. As per an official from the Home Department, while the issuing of notification means that the ban comes into force immediately, it will be the responsibility of the police to ensure that the same is enforced properly.
In December 2017, a fire broke out because of a hookah parlour at Kamala Mills Compound in Mumbai. The fire claimed 14 lives. Ever since the incident the Home Department was planning to regulate hookah parlours. Maharashta CM Devendra Fadnavis, however, insisted on a blanket ban across the state.