New Delhi, October 4
The Delhi High Court on Monday cautioned the Delhi Police against interfering with the operation of spas possessing a valid licence and are following the protocols imposed on account of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Justice Rekha Palli, who was hearing a petition by a spa owner alleging that the local police was not permitting him to re-open his spa and wellness clinic, remarked that she was dealing with matters alleging highhandedness by police daily.
“Every day I am dealing with matters. Your sub-inspectors are doing whatever they want to,” the judge said.
“Don’t you know what is happening? What your beat constables are doing? Why are you not letting them (operate)? I am cautioning you. Tell your beat constables. People will come to courts,” the judge told the concerned station house officer who was present during the hearing conducted through video conferencing.
Counsel for the Delhi Police stated that the authorities were in no manner restraining the operation of spas that possess a valid health trade licence and were following the applicable Covid-19 protocol.
“We are not stopping them if there is a valid health licence. We will strictly follow the legal principles,” said the counsel.
“If they (police) don’t (follow), I know what to do,” said the judge.
The court took on record the stand of the authorities and said that no orders are called for on the petition now.
In its petition filed through lawyer Himanshu Dagar, the petitioner—owner of a spa located in Chandani Chowk—alleged that the police were arbitrarily, unlawfully, and unjustifiably interfering with the re-opening of his outlet despite due compliance with all norms, rules, and regulations issued by the competent authorities.
The petition informed that in July, spas in the city were permitted to be re-opened by the Delhi government in view of the declining cases of Covid-19 subject to certain conditions.
However, the officials of the local police station “started forcing” the petitioner to shut down his spa without any rhyme or reason, it added.
“This harassment by the officials of the local police station and the staff of the Chowki has become a daily routine... the petitioner has been under a tremendous loss of finances and is even unable to pay rent, electricity bills, staff salaries, and home expenses because of shutting down of his Spa & Wellness clinic by the officials of the local police station and the staff of the chowki,” the petition claimed.
It was submitted that the conduct of the officials was in violation of Articles 14 and 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India and thus prayed that a direction be issued for allowing the re-opening of the spa in accordance with the applicable conditions. —PTI
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