Bharath v. State of Karnataka

Petitioners are hookah bar owners who challenged the State of Karnataka’s notification dated February 7, 2024, banning the sale and use of hookah in public places, including hookah bars. The Petitioners argued that the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA 2003) was promulgated by the Central Government and therefore, the State of Karnataka could not issue a ban on hookah because the product is regulated under COTPA 2003. The Court found that the act of providing the hookah instrument (including the base, pipe, coal, etc.) constituted a “service” which is banned by the Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places (Amendment) Rules, 2017 (prohibiting service in a smoking area or space provided for smoking). The Court also considered the health harms posed by hookah and held that it is within the State’s power to ban the sale and use of hookah to protect public health under Article 47 of the Constitution of India.


Bharath et al. V. State of Karnataka, High Court of Karnataka, Writ Petition No.4461 of 2024

  • India
  • Apr 22, 2024
  • High Court of Karnataka at Bengaluru


Plaintiff Sri. R. Bharath and others

Defendant State of Karnataka Department of Health and Family Welfare and others

Third Party

  • Justice P. Krishna Bhat (Retd.) and Dr. (Prof) U S Vishal Rao

Legislation Cited

Related Documents

Type of Litigation

Tobacco Control Topics

Substantive Issues

Type of Tobacco Product