The Delhi High Court on Wednesday made the wearing of masks compulsory even if a person is driving alone in a car in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh dismissed all the four petitions challenging the imposition of challans on people for not wearing a mask while they are alone in private cars.
The court stated that a mask acts as a 'Suraksha Kavach' which would prevent the spread of COVID-19 while adding that even if a car is occupied by just one person, it is a public space.
The HC emphasised the need to wear masks when around with senior citizens and people with comorbidities. It further said that masks should be worn even when a person is vaccinated.
The court cited the observation of several experts, doctors and researchers that emphasises the need to wear masks.
Earlier, Delhi Government in the same matter had told the Delhi High Court that "any person" moving around in his personal or official vehicle must be wearing masks compulsorily.
All "Public Places", and a personal vehicle fall in the said category and cannot be said to be a "private zone' as contended by the petitioner in the instant case," the state government said.
The court was hearing a plea that sought a refund of the Rs 500 fine imposed against the petitioner and compensation of Rs 10 lakh for publicly causing mental harassment.
According to petitioner Saurabh Sharma, on September 9 Delhi Police issued a challan of Rs 500 for not wearing a mask even though he was alone in the car while driving to work.
The petitioner argued that the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) guidelines only state that the mask has to be worn in a public place or place of work.
Earlier, it was also made mandatory to wear masks for pillion riders.
( With inputs from ANI )
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