The Delhi High Court Friday said cross-gender massages do not amount to any ‘sexual activity’ and asked authorities to not take action against any such activity during the pendency of the petitions challenging prohibition of cross-gender massages.
“Please don’t insist cross-gender massages should not be done,” said Justice Rekha Palli in an oral instruction to the authorities during the hearing of petitions filed by spas against the government decision which has now been followed by municipal corporations in Delhi.
Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra, representing the government, opposed passing any interim order in favour of the centres offering cross-gender massages and said the authorities will have to act against any illegal activity. The court said it was not saying that illegal activities should be allowed.
Mehra earlier submitted that the “sexual activity of these kind should not be allowed”, to which the court responded strongly saying, “just because it is cross-gender massage, does not mean it is a sexual activity”. The court said since it was going to examine the issue now, the authorities should not “precipitate things in the meantime”.
The counsel representing the government also submitted that all ayurvedic centres, hotels, and resorts at tourist destinations outside Delhi do not allow cross-gender massage. However, the court said, “You ask your people to hold their hands.”
Association of Wellness Ayurveda and Spa in the petition said that spa centres across the national capital were being regularly harassed for operating cross-gender spas and were being forced to renovate their places to accommodate men and women separately.