CM Arvind Kejriwal (Photo Credit: News Nation)
The Delhi Government has laid out guidelines for operation of Spa & Massage centres in the city while laying out strict measures to ensure the prohibition of sexual abuse and trafficking, and safeguards to ensure the security of consumers as well as employees. The guidelines which were issued for obtaining Health Trade Licences and operating Spa & Massage Centres in the city were approved by Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal earlier today. The guidelines strictly prohibit any kind of cross-gender massage in the premises while laying guidelines for the protection of children from sexual offences, preventing sexual harassment, and trafficking among others. After the issue was flagged by the Delhi Commission for Women Chairperson, a task force was constituted to investigate into the report submitted by DCW, take appropriate legal action and review the functioning of the establishments.
The guidelines have been made while keeping in mind the safety and security of the consumers as well as the employees on the premises. The order lays out some specific provisions that the centres will have to follow to ensure utmost safety inside their premises like provisions of self-closing doors and prohibition on latches and bolts inside the doors of the massage centre chambers while keeping external doors open during working hours. The centres will also need to have separate toilets & bathrooms for males and females as well as separate changing rooms.
The centres will only be able to employ people aged above 18 who possess a degree/diploma/certificate in physiotherapy, acupressure or occupational therapy. They will also need to obtain Police Clearance Certificates for all employees and undertake police verification of the premises. The Chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women had earlier informed about various irregularities and sexual abuse of girls/women employed at the spa centres. A task force was constituted in this regard by the Delhi Government to investigate into the report submitted by DCW, take appropriate legal action and review the functioning of the establishments. Suggestions from the Delhi Commission for Women were incorporated further into the guidelines.
MANDATORY CONDITIONS FOR OBTAINING THE LICENCE
(a) Engaging in any form of sexual activity in the premises of the Spa Massage centre is totally prohibited.
(b) Cross-gender massage shall not be allowed in Spa/Massage centres Provision for male masseur for massage of males and female masseur for massage of females shall be made.
(c) Male and female Spa centers shall be in different sections of the premises and clearly demarcated with separate entry and no inter-connection.
(d) The Spa/Massage centre services shall not be provided behind locked doors. There shall be no latchet and bolt inside the doors of SPA/Massage Centre chambers. There shall be provision of self-closing doors.
(e) The external doors of the massage/spa establishment shall be kept open during working hours.
(f) Mandatory provision for production of ID cards of all customers shall be ensured and proper register containing their contact details including phone numbers and ID proof shall be maintained.
(g) The Spa Massage centres can remain open only between 9 am to 9pm.
(h) Proper lighting facilities shall be provided in each room or enclosure.
(i) The Spa/Massage centre shall have separate toilet & bathroom for males and females with proper drainage system
(j) The Spa/ Massage centre shall have separate changing rooms for males and females.
(k) The premises shall not be used for residential purposes nor it shall communicate with any residential portion of the premises, if any.
(l) The Spa/Massage Centre shall ensure cleaning of the premises by employment of employees necessary for cleaning /Housekeeping work etc.
(m) Each masseur/masseuse employed at the centre shall possess a degree/diploma/certificate in physiotherapy/acupressure or occupational therapy.
(n) The details of all employees including housekeeping staff shall be maintained in a register.
(o) All employees shall wear an ID card issued by the employer and displayed while they are working.
(p) All employees for this trade shall be at least 18 years of age.
(q) Local Body shall obtain the Police verification of the Owner/Manager of Spa/Massage Centre before issuing Health Trade License to the Spa/Massage Centre along with premises verification.
(r) There should be no criminal cases pending and no involvement in the Criminal action related to The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act. The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act or any case of nature of sexual crime registered against any employee of the Spa/Massage Centre. The Owner/Manager of the Spa/Massage centre shall obtain Police Clearance Certificate(PCC) before engagement of any person in employment at the Centre
(s) The Spa/massage centre shall not violate any laws in force especially the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act and shall abide by all the applicable laws, rules and guidelines.
(t) The name, licence number, details of licence, working hours of each centre shall be displayed in the premises or building in a manner clearly visible from outside.
(u) Details of licencee, manager, employees, working hours of services, types of massages of services available including fees fixed for each item thereof shall be also displayed prominently.
(v) Display Boards in both English and Hindi shall be displayed at appropriate place at the reception containing the following information
i Site plan of the premises.
ii. Number of beds category-wise for male and female.
iii. Details of the employees containing their designation and qualification.
iv. Helpline numbers for customers i.e. 112 & 181. v. Declaration stating that "The spa massage centre is for spa & massage purpose only. If any customer employee/ employer is found involved in sexual abuse, then legal action as per the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act and/or any other law will be taken against them. The same can be reported by calling at 112 & 181
(w) CCTV cameras with recording facility shall be installed at Entrance, reception and common areas of the centre. Recording must be retained for at least three months.
(x) Internal complaint committee under the Prevention of Sexual Harassment of Women at Work Place Act shall be established in the centre where more than 10 employees are working. The existence of such a committee should be displayed at a prominent location. Reports as per law should be sent to the concerned authorities.
(y) COVID appropriate behaviour shall be adhered by the Spa/Massage Centres as prescribed by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India from time to time. The Spa/Massage Centres must also abide by the directions of Hon'ble High Court of Delhi in the matter W.P.(C) 6555/2020 and W.P.(C).7366/2020.
(z) An undertaking/declaration shall be submitted in the form of an Affidavit (as per Annexure) along with the application for obtaining health trade licence for complying with all the above conditions.
INSPECTION AND ENFORCEMENT
a) The heath trade licence shall be issued by the local body only after inspection of the premises.
b) The health officials, police officers and other concerned authorities shall have the authority to inspect the premises, licence, registers/all records of the Spa/Massage centres to verify the compliance with the above conditions or on suspicion of commission of any offence by the licencee/ employees related to any law in force.
c) In case of any violation of the guidelines, penal action shall be taken as per the applicable laws of the concerned Local Body.
d) In case of any criminal activity by the Spa/Massage Centre, action as per law shall be taken