islamabad - Punjab police registered 177 cases and arrested 287 persons throughout the province in connection with sheesha smoking, says a report.

The Supreme Court in November last had directed the inspector general of Punjab police to curb the prevalence of sheesha smoking in public places like parks, restaurants and hotels.

Assistant Additional Advocate Mudassir Khalid Abbasi on behalf of the Punjab police submitted a report in the court. According to the report, offences against sheesha smokers are non-cognizable; therefore, the police cannot take direct action in the matter.

The Punjab police have requested the home secretary to direct all district coordination officers (DCOs) throughout the province to assist the police in registration of cases in compliance with the court’s order, the reply said.

It is further stated that cases against sheesha smokers are non-cognizable and cases are registered either under Section 188 of the Pakistan Penal Code subsequent to a notification under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

The SC will resume hearing of case today (Wednesday).

The report also states that the Punjab Prohibition of Sheesha Smoking Bill 2014 is lying pending in the Provincial Assembly.

According to the bill, a draft of which was submitted before the bench, no person individually or collectively shall manufacture, sell, use or import or in any manner engage himself in sheesha smoking. Any offence committed under the Act shall be non-bailable. The bill states that the trend has been gaining currency with each passing day.

The youth are enjoying and using hard as well as soft drugs in sheesha cafes. Young women are also not an exception to this. No planning seems to have been undertaken to curb this menace. The owners of such establishments have been facilitating the practice, the bill states.