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Ghumman v. National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination [Pakistan] [December 18, 2017]
Public health organization, Pakistan National Heart Association, through its General Secretary, Sana Ullah Ghumman, filed a complaint in the office of the Federal Ombudsman alleging that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the Ministry of Health made inappropriate tax decisions which resulted in a reduction in price for certain tobacco products. The Ombudsman ruled that the government's departure from established practice amounted to maladministration under Article 2(1)(a) of President Order No. 1 of 1983. The Ombudsman directed the government to either mandatorily comply with Articles 6 and 15 of the FCTC, or intimate reasons for non-compliance under Article 11(2) of the President Order No. 1 of 1983, both within thirty days. The FBR appealed to the President's Secretariat. The Secretariat set aside the Federal Ombudsman's decision, finding that the Ombudsman did not possess jurisdiction to hear the matter as taxation strategy cannot be reviewed for maladministration and a tax bill passed by Parliament is not an act of an agency as required by the President's Order establishing Federal Ombudsman jurisdiction. The Secretariat further held that compliance with treaty obligations is a government policy issue and cannot be reviewed by judicial or quasi-judicial bodies like the Federal Ombudsman.
Ghumman v. National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination [Pakistan] [September 23, 2017]
Public health organization, Pakistan National Heart Association, through its General Secretary, Sana Ullah Ghumman, filed a complaint in the office of the Federal Ombudsman alleging that the Federal Board of Revenue and the Ministry of Health made inappropriate tax decisions which resulted in a reduction in price for certain tobacco products. The Ombudsman ruled that the government's departure from established practice amounted to maladministration under Article 2(1)(a) of President Order No. 1 of 1983. The Ombudsman directed the government to either mandatorily comply with Articles 6 and 15 of the FCTC, or intimate reasons for non-compliance under Article 11(2) of the President Order No. 1 of 1983, both within thirty days.
Abbottabad Shisha Decision [Pakistan] [July 30, 2015]
A “shisha” café challenged a local government order ordering it to close. The court upheld the order because the government has imposed a ban on shisha (water pipe) smoking in all public places, including restaurants. The court noted the dangers posed by tobacco use, especially to nonsmokers in public places.
Manager Smoke Sheesha Abbotabad v. Asst. Commissioner Abbottabad [Pakistan] [August 05, 2014]
A government inspector sent a final warning to a sheesha cafe to stop selling sheesha in public places, and to persons under the age of 18 years old. The manager of the sheesha cafe sought a Criminal Revision, but the court rejected the petition because it was without substance.
Bilal Babar Khokhar v. Islamabad (WP No. 1517-2013) [Pakistan] [April 11, 2013]
Local enforcement officials visited a café in Islamabad that was offering shisha (water pipe smoking). The café asked the court to prevent further enforcement actions. The court dismissed the case, noting that the café’s owner had previously been convicted of violating the 2002 law on the Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Non-Smokers Health. Since that conviction is still in effect and the café’s owner was not able to point to any illegal actions by enforcement officials, his claim was dismissed.
M/s. Olive Grill Restaurant v. Province of Punjab (WP No. 23510-2012) [Pakistan] [December 10, 2012]
As part of a crack down on cafes and restaurants that offer shisha (water pipe smoking), local enforcement officials raided and closed a restaurant in Punjab. The restaurant filed a petition arguing that the 2002 law on the Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Non-Smokers Health does not apply to outdoor areas. The court analyzed the language of the law allowing smoking in an “open place” and determined that an open place is not a place where members of the public gather as a group to smoke. Instead, an “open place” is a place open to the sky where an individual chooses to smoke. Therefore, enforcement of the smoke-free law against the outdoor café was permissible.
Usman Javed Siddiqui v. Model Town Society (WP No. 12537-2012) [Pakistan] [November 07, 2012]
A landlord attempted to stop a café from offering “shisha” (water pipe smoking) and, when the café did not stop, disconnected the café’s utilities. The owner of the cafe sued the landlord (a model town housing society) for interfering with his business by disconnecting his electricity and water. The court dismissed the claim based on its earlier ruling (in Society of Alternative Media and Research v. Punjab) that the 2002 Non-Smokers Health Ordinance should be enforced against the use of shisha in public places. The court ordered the housing association to restore the utility connections to the cafe once the cafe submitted an assurance to the court that it will no longer offer shisha.
Baig v. Province of Punjab (WP No. 15814-2012) [Pakistan] [June 25, 2012]
The Lahore City Government began to strictly enforce the smoke-free law against shisha (tobacco waterpipe) cafes, resulting in the closure of many shisha businesses. In response, shisha cafe owners filed a petition in the Lahore High Court against the measures in Lahore. The Judge dismissed the petition.
Caffees Association v. Province of Punjab (WP No. 15813-2012) [Pakistan] [June 25, 2012]
As part of a crackdown on cafés and restaurants that offer “shisha” (water pipe smoking), local enforcement agents visited a number of cafés to enforce the law. In this case, the owners of various cafés alleged that the government violated their fundamental rights by prohibiting the sale of shisha, arresting and detaining some employees, and confiscating the product. The court dismissed the claim based on an earlier ruling in Baig v. Province of Punjab, in which the court ordered the café to prove that it was operating in compliance with the 2002 Non-Smokers Health Ordinance – by not serving shisha -- before resuming business.
The State of Pakistan v. Tarar [Pakistan] [March 20, 2012]
Philip Morris Pakistan placed several full-page color ads in major magazines around Pakistan, which violated a ban on advertising in the press. A Civil Magistrate found the Head of Marketing for Philip Morris Pakistan guilty of violating the law. The Philip Morris executive claimed that the violation was in good faith because he did not believe the prohibition on advertising in the "press" included magazines. The Magistrate rejected this argument, stating that the executive's position was "not tenable." The executive received a small fine, but risks up to three months in jail if he commits a second offense.