A nightclub owner accused of served 'hookahs' containing nicotine was on Thursday awarded three years' rigorous imprisonment by a civil court of Gurugram. The accused Rohit Kumar, a resident of Gurugram's Sushant Lok, was held guilty of violating various sections of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. Sessions Judge M.M. Dhonchak passed the judgment in this case.
As per the court order, the convict was found guilty of committing an offence punishable under section of 27 (b) and violation of Section 18 (c) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.
The court ordered three years of rigorous jail term for the accused and a fine of Rs 1 lakh. In case the accused fails to deposit the fine amount, he is required to serve an additional 8 months in prison.
Kumar is the owner of a nightclub called Coffee Bar and Lounge located on the city's Golf Course Road.
The raid was conducted in 2013 by a team of the drug control department headed by Pooja Chaudhary and Amandeep Chauhan, then Drug Control Officers of Gurugram and Rewari districts, respectively.
During the raid, the team had found 10 different flavours of 'hookah' inside the nightclub premises which were being served to guests of different age groups.
"We have collected 5 samples from 'hookahs' and sent to the lab. Of these, two samples have been found positive for containing nicotine. The tests were done in the presence of the accused, who had earlier claimed that the 'hookahs' served to guests are completely nicotine free.
"The accused were also violating state government norms on carrying mandatory health warning and the WHO's Framework Convention on tobacco control warning for serving tobacco products," Chauhan said.
"The accused failed to produce any valid license for selling tobacco products at the time of raid. We had immediately stopped commercial operation of 'hookah' in public interest," he added.
The sleuths had seized Soex Harbal Hookah Orange molasses, Diwan-E-Khas Grapes molasses, Water pipe fire and ice flavored molasses, Soex Pan Raas herbal molasses and Smoking spring water herbal hookah molasses from the premises.
The officer pointed out that these products contain psychoactive chemical substances that affect organs like the heart and brain and even cause damage at the cellular level.