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Delhi High Court Issues Notice On Plea Alleging Inordinate Delay In Issuing Guidelines For Opening Up Spa Centres In National Capital

Nupur Thapliyal
5 July 2021 3:26 PM GMT
Delhi High Court Issues Notice On Plea Alleging Inordinate Delay In Issuing Guidelines For Opening Up Spa Centres In National Capital
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The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice on a petition alleging inordinate delay by the Government in issuing guidelines for opening up spa centres in the national capital, that were closed in wake of the second Covid-19 wave. It is alleged that spa centres are being discriminated with salons, gyms and other establishments which have been permitted to open up.Justice Rekha Palli has...

The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice on a petition alleging inordinate delay by the Government in issuing guidelines for opening up spa centres in the national capital, that were closed in wake of the second Covid-19 wave. It is alleged that spa centres are being discriminated with salons, gyms and other establishments which have been permitted to open up.

Justice Rekha Palli has sought response of the Delhi Government and the Centre in a plea filed by two licensed spa centres located in Delhi and has listed the matter for further hearing on July 20.

"It is expected that the Respondent No. 1 (Delhi Government) before the next date will be ready with instructions as to why in the light of the orders passed by this Court, spas are not allowed to be opened," the Court ordered.

However, the Court clarified that it is not for the Court to direct the government as to what establishments are to be opened as it does not have the expertise in doing the same.

The petitioners have challenged the guidelines dated June 26, 2021, issued by the Delhi Government allowing opening of salons, gyms and yoga institutions thereby specifically prohibiting reopening of spa centres. Stating that there is an unlawful and inordinate delay in framing of the guidelines for spa centres, the plea avers that the Government has issued the impugned guidelines without application of mind.

Seeking quashing of the said guidelines, the plea also seeks reopening of spa centres in view of the earlier order passed by the High Court that said saloon and spa centres are on equal footing.

Advocate Davesh Vashishtha appearing for the petitioners in the matter argued before the Court that even thought the Delhi Government had permitted all saloons and ayurvedic centres, gyms in Delhi to be opened by passing different orders, they have not passed similar orders in respect of opening of spas.

Hearing this, the Court orally remarked thus:

"We're not living in ivory towers. We are aware of the situation. I was also a part of the division bench dealing with the Covid petitions. Hotels have been opened in some other states. I'm not dismissing the petition. Let them file a reply."

Naushad Ahmed Khan, additional standing counsel for the Delhi Government, however submitted before the Court that allowing spa centres to be opened makes "sau gaj ki doori" (social distancing) practically impossible.  

The matter will now be heard on July 20.

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