The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India has informed Delhi High Court that it has not issued any guidelines directing people to wear a mask while travelling alone in a vehicle.
The response of the Union of India has come through an affidavit in an ongoing petition filed by Advocate Saurabh Sharma challenging the Rs 500 challan issued to him for not wearing a mask while he was driving alone in his private car.
MoHFW has also submitted that health is a state subject and therefore, the present matter, prima facie, pertains to Delhi Government and prayed to delete MoHFW name from the list of array of parties.
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. Delhi Government in its affidavit had submitted that guidelines are very clear cut that, "any person" moving around in his personal or official vehicle must be wearing masks compulsorily.
"All "Public Places", and a personal vehicle falls 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 petition which sought a refund of Rs 500 fine imposed against him and compensation of Rs 10 lakh for publicly causing mental harassment. According to petitioner Saurabh Sharma, on September 9, 2020, 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.
( With inputs from ANI )
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