BAN ON HOOKAH (Syllabus GS Paper 2 – Polity)

News-CRUX-10     23rd April 2024        

Context: The Karnataka health department recently issued a notification banning the sale and consumption of hookahs in order to protect public health.

Notification on Hookah Bars

  • Violation of Fire Safety Laws: The notification highlights that hookah bars are in breach of fire safety regulations, posing a risk to public safety.
  • Unsafe Food Items: It emphasizes that the operation of hookah bars renders food items unsafe for public consumption, raising concerns about hygiene and health hazards.
  • Legal Ramifications: The notification warns that violators will face legal consequences under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) of 2003, along with other pertinent state and central laws.
  • Karnataka Government's Response: The  government swiftly introduced a bill aimed at curbing hookah bar establishments, recognizing the urgency of the issue.
  • Prohibition Across All Locations: The bill proposed a blanket prohibition on opening hookah bars "in any place", indicating the government's firm stance on the matter.
  • Penalties Imposed: From 1 to 3 years and fines up to 1 lakh rupees, underscoring the severity of the offense and the government's commitment to enforcement.

Article 47, Article 21 and Article 19(1)(g)

  • Article 47: Directive Principle of State Policy

oArticle 47 mandates the State to elevate nutrition standards, living conditions, and public health, including prohibiting harmful substances.

oPart IV of the Constitution outlines directive principles, which are fundamental to governance but not enforceable by courts.

  • Interconnection with Right to Life

oThe High Court affirmed that Article 47 is intertwined with the right to life with dignity, as per Article 21 of the Constitution.

oIt emphasizes the state's paramount duty to safeguard human life and health, fundamental rights under Article 21.

  • Fundamental Right to Occupation

oThe petitioners contended that the government's notification breaches the fundamental right to engage in any profession, trade, or business, protected by Article 19(1)(g).

output themes