A group of leading fitness centres here has moved a plea in the Supreme Court seeking relief from the September 24 notice issued by the apex court appointed Monitoring Committee, concluding fitness centres, including gyms, are not permissible on properties, irrespective whether they are commercial, mixed land or non-notified.
The Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee had recently ordered sealing of all fitness centres including gyms, yoga and meditation centres, which came up in the city after August 12, 2008.
"In effect the alleged process of law will only be illusionary in nature and an empty formality as a decision has already been taken to seal the premises, even without affording an opportunity of hearing to the affected parties," said a plea by the fitness centres, which include Cultfit Healthcare, Fitness First, 21 Fitness, Body Mechanics, Hexagon Fitness etc.,
According to the plea, the gyms/fitness centres in Delhi which are being operated from leased properties qualify for mixed land use in terms of the Master Plan 2021 and are mostly situated in category C& D colonies.
"The requisite conversion charges/charges for mixed use of the said properties have been duly paid by the respective landlords/owners in terms of the MPD 2021. The applicants have taken the respective premises on long term leases for specific utilization towards fitness centres after the owners of the said premises had taken permission for mixed land use on payment of the requisite charges," they said in the plea.
The fitness centres insisted they have invested large sums of money -- for interiors of the premises, purchasing the requisite equipment and as well as training personnel for the purposes of operating these facilities. "The authorities have been directed to follow the due process of law.... however, in no uncertain terms the Monitoring Committee has already indicated its conclusion as well as its direction to seal the premises," said the plea.
That Monitoring Committee has indicated that all fitness centres except those that were operating as of February 7, 2007, in areas where commercial/mixed land use was permissible were required to be shut down, allegedly being in contravention of the MPD 2021.
The fitness centres sought relief against the notice issued by the committee and urged the top court to permit them to continue with operations from the premises where they are located.
The plea said the apex court has already been seized with the issue pertaining to compliance of the Master Plan and more importantly, against illegal construction which has been cropping up in Delhi. Therefore, the plea falls within the issues which are being considered by the apex court and the present application for impleadment in that writ petition.
(Sumit Saxena can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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