The Delhi High Court asked the AAP government on Tuesday as to what was so special about spas that they were not being allowed to open even though everything else like markets, gyms, restaurants, metro and buses was operational in the city. The query by Justice Navin Chawla came after the central government said it has issued an office memorandum on November 18 allowing reopening of spas, while Delhi government said it was not going to permit that in view of the third wave of COVID-19 infections in the city.
The counsel appearing for Delhi government told the court that he was given oral instructions that spas would not be reopened in view of prevailing conditions in the national capital and sought time to file an affidavit giving reasons for the same. To this the court asked, "Why? Why only spas? What is so special about spas? You have opened everything else. Look at markets, restaurants, metros, buses, all are open and running full time." It directed the Delhi government to indicate, in its affidavit, what was special about spas that they were not being allowed to open, when everything else was being permitted.
During the hearing, the central government told the court that while it "has cleared the decks" for reopening spas, the final decision with regard to the same has been left to the Delhi government. The court, thereafter, listed the matter for hearing on December 4.
It was hearing a plea moved by several persons who run spas which have been shut since the first lockdown was enforced in Delhi. In their plea, filed through advocates Rajeshwar Dagar and Himanshu Dagar, the spa owners have contended that they have been trained as professional therapists under the National Skills Development Mission launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
They have further contended that when a maximum number of businesses, like salons, gyms, restaurants and bars, have been granted permission to reopen and even Delhi Metro has been restarted, then why not the spas. The petitioners have claimed that the spas in other states are running with full safety measures, but are not permitted in Delhi.