Court sets free 48 people charged with smoking Shisha. Court rules that Shisha ban was never regularized.

A Shanzu court discharged 48 people who had been charged with smoking and selling Shisha ruling that their charge sheet did not disclose an offense.

Senior Principal Magistrate Joe Omido ruled that the Shisha ban was never regularized within 9 months as the high court ordered.

Omido ruled that the High Court gave an extension of only nine months for purposes of regularizing the shisha ban which the cabinet Secretary failed to do and that the extension was not indefinite.

The court further said that treating the rules as valid as suggested by the Prosecution would be exceeding the court’s jurisdiction as that would be going against the High Court judgement and would also amount to bypassing Parliament, which is the body mandated to legislate.

Omido held that there is therefore no valid or lawful ban for the use, manufacture, sale or offer for sale of shisha under the Public Health (Control of Shisha Smoking) Rules, 2017 for the reason that the said rules were not regularized by the Cabinet Secretary within nine (9) months as ordered and/or directed by the High Court and therefore ceased to have effect after the expiry of the 9 months.

It was his further finding that there is no specific offence in the cases before him as the offences did not exist at the time the accused persons are alleged to have flouted the law.

“In the result, in line with the said provision of statute and for the reasons that I have stated above, I hereby refuse to admit the charges in all the consolidated matters before me. I proceed to discharge all the
accused persons ni al the respective consolidated matters, under Section 89(5) of the Criminal Procedure Code,” the court ruled.

He ruled that each of the 48 accused persons in the four consolidated files shall be set at liberty forthwith unless otherwise lawfully detained.

CH Reporter

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