Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Delhi HC tells Delhi government cross gender massage does not amount to sexual activity

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The Delhi High Court in plea questioning the services and therapies being provided in various spa centres and massage centres across the capital pertaining to the traditional cross gender massages has recently notified Delhi Government that a cross-gender massage does not amount to a sexual activity entirely for the reason that it is cross gender.

The bench of Justice Rekha Palli was hearing a plea challenging the ban on cross gender spas and massage services with respect to the guidelines provided by the Delhi government. Justice Palli observed that simply because the massages are provided by the opposite gender does not make the act of massage a sexual activity in itself.

Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra appearing on behalf of the Delhi government submitted that the said policy was formed in order to curb down the prostitution going on in spa centres and other places providing massage services. The bench assured that appropriate action will be taken against illegal activities being carried out in the name of cross gender massages and spa centres.

The petition states that there are no legal rights available to the policemen to stop a health spa from being operated even if the services /therapies are being provided and received by two opposite sexes. In fact, it shows the narrow mindset of the respondent/government, not only that but reflects how the government is abusing the powers vested in their hands.

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The petition further states that setting out such guidelines is nothing but reflection of the colonial mindset of the government, where they tend to ban spa centres and massage therapies. And also according to the new guidelines provided, the policemen and the other municipal officers will not have the license to walk into a massage/spa centre anytime they wish to in order to keep a check and causally outrage the modesty of women taking the spa/ massage therapies. This will in turn tarnish the reputation of professional therapists in the capital.

The petitioners were also aggrieved by the unlawful and discriminatory treatment of authorities concerned towards the various spa centres and massage centre across the capital.The cross gender treatment has been part of traditional massage practices from ancient time with many other medical treatments like psychotherapy including substances abuse treatment as well where gender proximity is very much prevalent, the plea said.

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