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November 26, 2019

SHC takes exception to police failure to lodge cases against sheesha parlour owners


November 26, 2019

The Sindh High Court took exception to the conduct of police who registered cases against consumers for smoking sheesha but let off the restaurant owners without any action.

The observation came during a hearing of a petition of Rafee Pervez Malik against the use of sheesha at public restaurants in the city. The petitioner submitted that despite the Supreme Court’s order to ban the consumption of sheesha, it was being served it private restaurants of the city.

A division bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar had directed the SHO of the SITE Superhighway to visit Al-Habib Restaurant and submit a report on whether it was offering sheesha to the guests or not.

The SHO appeared before the court after the issuance of a bailable warrant, and submitted his report in favour of the restaurant owner, saying that no such illegal business was operating in that restaurant. In order to show his efficiency, he attached copies of two FIRs lodged against different restaurants though it was not the subject matter of the petition nor had any such directions been issued to him.

The court after perusal of the FIRs observed that police mentioned some persons who were smoking sheesha and booked them in an FIR, but surprisingly no FIR had been registered against the owner and incharge of any restaurant who were responsible for such heinous activities and serving such types of injurious items to their guests.

To a court query as to why restaurant owners were not nominated in the FIRs, the SHO failed to respond. The court directed the office to transmit the copy of the FIR to the DIG East to look into the matter so that the efficiency of the SHO may be brought to his knowledge.

The court directed the DIG East to depute some taskforce in his district to eliminate this menace in compliance with the order of the Supreme Court.

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