Safety, Dignity Of Women Is Paramount- Delhi HC Directs Police Commissioner To Prevent Prostitution Under Garb Of Massage Parlour
The Delhi High Court has directed the Commissioner of Police (Respondent) to ensure that all steps are undertaken to prevent prostitution rings from being conducted under the garb of massage parlours, as the safety and dignity of women are paramount.
The Bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad observed that "the Status report filed by the respondent discloses that necessary action has been by the Police, whenever they have received any information or complaints with respect to prostitution rackets being operated under the garb of massage parlours."
In this case, the Public Interest Litigation was filed, wherein directions were sought to be given to the Respondents authorities to initiate actions and take steps to abolish all sex rackets/illegal flesh trade. Furthermore, directions were sought to be given to the Commissioner of Police, Delhi to file a Status Report on the total number of massage parlours operating in Delhi in a time-bound manner.
The Petitioner appeared in person and argued that the operations of sex rackets and prostitution rings are in direct violation of Section 8 of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956; transgresses upon the right to life under Article 21 and goes against the prohibition of trafficking under Article 23. It was submitted that the sex racket businesses operating under the garb of massage parlours pose a serious threat to the safety and dignity of women.
ASC Sameer Vashisht, Civil GNCTD and CGSC Vivek Goyal appeared on behalf of the Respondent and submitted that the police have been regularly investigating and taking appropriate legal actions against the rackets and that enquiries have already been conducted on the receipt of information.
Earlier, a notice was issued by this Court in this petition whereby the respondents were directed to place on record their Counter Affidavits, to which the respondent along with the Affidavit, filed a Status Report and a memo issued by the Delhi Police Headquarters.
In the said Status Report, the information pertaining to the total number of massage parlours operating in certain areas of the city, and the status of actions taken by Civic agencies and the Police, pursuant to complaints for closure of those parlours that were found to be operating sex rackets, were revealed.
The Court also took note of the memo issued by the Delhi Police Headquarters, directing and instructing all the Deputy Commissioners of Police under Delhi Police's jurisdiction to keep a vigil on massage parlours and to take appropriate legal actions against them as and when they notice any illegal activities taking place.
The Court referred to the Status Report and observed that the status report discloses necessary action has been taken by the Police, whenever they have been in receipt of information or complaints with respect to prostitution rackets operating under massage parlours and ordered that "no further orders are required to be passed in the present petition in light of the directions already issued by Respondent."
Accordingly, the PIL was disposed of.
Cause Title - Ateet Bansal v. Commissioner of Police, Delhi & Anr. (Neutral Citation Number of W.P.(C)-8485/2018 is 2022/DHC/005150)