LHC seeks reply on plea challenging ban on sheesha


Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, on Tuesday, sought a reply till October 2, from Secretary Home Department Punjab, DCO Lahore and others regarding a petition challenging the ban on sheesha.
The chief justice passed orders on a petition filed by Olive Grill Restaurant through their counsel Shahzad Shaukat, against secretary home department Punjab, DCO/administrator City district Government, Lahore and others.
The petitioner’s counsel, arguing before the court, submitted that the respondents were interfering in the lawful business of the petitioner-restaurant by raiding and sealing its premises on alleged violations of “Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Non-Smokers Health Ordinance, 2002”.
The counsel submitted that the said ordinance was a federal legislation, aimed to protect the health of non-smokers, but it did not bar restaurants from offering sheesha in open places.
He said that after the 18th amendment, environment and health were no longer within the legislative competence of the federal government. However, the provincial government did not carry out any amendments in the ordinance to enable itself to give effect to the provisions thereof.
The counsel said that the provisions of the ordinance were practically unenforceable for want of appropriate amendment.
He contended that no person or body was vested with the authority to enforce provisions of the ordinance.
The counsel further submitted that DCO, Lahore had issued many notifications under section 144 CrPC prohibiting sheesha in restaurants which was without lawful authority.
The petitioner’s counsel said that the petitioner was offering sheesha in an open space, thus, it did not violate the ordinance, but the respondents raided its restaurant and sealed the premises.
The counsel pleaded the court to declare steps by the respondents as illegal and issue directions to stop interference in the lawful business of petitioner.
The chief justice after hearing the arguments sought a reply from respondents till October 2.