Chennai: The Madras High Court on Wednesday restrained police and Corporation authorities from conducting routine raids without any basis and interfering with the business carried on by beauty parlours, massage centres and spas in the city and its outskirts.
Justice V Ramasubramanian, while disposing a batch of petitions challenging the frequent interference by police into their business activities, advised the government to bring in a legislation in the City Municipal Corporation Act and the Criminal Law.
"In specific cases where the police have reasonable grounds to believe that an offence punishable under Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act has been or is being committed, it is open to the police to take action after scrupulously following all the steps indicated in Section 15 of the said Act", the judge said disposing a batch of petitions by beauty parlours, massage centres and spas.
The petitioners contented that they were subjected to raids on a regular basis by the officials of Anti-Vice Squad of the Chennai City Police.
They said such raids and frequent interference by police not only spoilt their business but also projected them in poor light. It amounted to an interference with their fundamental right to carry on a lawful business.
The Judge said that based upon the laws enacted in various countries, the authorities could take appropriate steps for bringing either a new legislation or a subordinate legislation in terms of the provisions of the Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act or the Chennai City Police Act, so that public order, decency and morality are taken care of.
The Judge said the petitioners have taken licence under the City Municipal Corporation Act under which a licence is issued for hair dressing saloons in which no mention was made about running of beauty parlours, spa sand massage centres.
The Judge directed the government to file a report on or before March 31, 2015 about the decision taken.