The SC lifted the three-year-old ban on hookahs in the landmark case of Narinder S. Chadha vs. Municipal Corporation of Greater Bombay. Prior to the imposition of this ban, every state had its respective rules dealing with the prohibition of the use of tobacco and other related products. The Court set aside the judgments of the High Courts of Mumbai, Ahmadabad and Chennai, which upheld the prohibitions brought in by the civic bodies of the respective cities. However, this ban is not objective. The places selling hookahs or any other tobacco products meant for smoking or chewing, have to essentially comply with the provisions of the Cigarettes Act, 2003 (the Act). No person shall smoke in any public place except ‘Hotels having thirty rooms, restaurants having a seating capacity of thirty and above and airports shall have a separate space for smoking purposes’. For this a smoking zone has to be set up which
Should be physically separated and surrounded by full-height walls;
Should have a system that lets the smoke go directly outside;
Should have an entrance with automatically closing doors;
Should not be used for other purposes like serving food, beverage or other services.
Furthermore, a sale of tobacco products is prohibited anywhere within a radius of a 100 yards of any educational institution. The power to make rules with regard to the implementation of the Act rests with the Central Government. In pursuance of this, the centre will decide the manner in which the search of any premises shall be conducted and seizure of its tobacco and related products shall be made. As far as the ban goes, the local authorities or the State cannot impose it in violation of the Narinder Chaddha judgment. The judgment highlights that the existing law, by prohibiting smoking in public places, aims to mitigate the inconvenience caused by the use of tobacco products, particularly to the minors and their untimely exposure to its consumption. Thus, banning smoking and other uses of tobacco in places earmarked for the same, is impermissible.
To conclude, post the lifting of ban on hookahs, no authority, including the State government can re-impose that ban without undergoing the elaborate process of legislating upon this matter in the Parliament.
The state can however only take such a decision if such instances of smoking/hookah involves the use of narcotics or other illegal drugs, in which case it fall within the ambit of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985.
 AIR 2015 SC (756)  Public place, as defined under section 3 of the Cigarettes Act 2003, includes any place visited by the general public which does not have an open space.  Section 4 of the Act.  Section 3 (p) gives a schedule of products falling in the category of tobacco products.  Section 6 of the Act; also refer to paragraph 12 of the judgement.  Section 31 of the Act.  Paragraph 23 of the judgment.  Paragraph 12 of the judgment.
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