The High Court dismissed the petitions challenging police action for not wearing a mask while driving alone in a private vehicle during the Covid-19 epidemic.
New Delhi| Even if you are alone in the car, it is still mandatory to wear a mask or the police can impose a fine, Delhi High Court ruled today. The vehicle is like a public place and the safety shield is not to be forgotten while sitting in it, the High Court observed.
The Delhi High Court order comes amid the longstanding debate whether one should wear mask in a car while driving alone. The court said that the mask is a protective shield that not only protects the one who wears it but also exposed. The court said governments across the world and scientists have also advised wearing masks.
The High Court dismissed the petitions challenging police action for not wearing a mask while driving alone in a private vehicle during the Covid-19 epidemic. On February 17, the Delhi High Court reserved its decision on the petitions filed against the use of masks even when they were alone in the car. Several citizens had challenged the police action in the High Court. Justice Pratibha M Singh reserved the verdict after hearing the arguments of the Centre, the Delhi government and the petitioners.
According to the Live Law website, the Central Government during the hearing had said that no order was ever issued in this regard. That is, the order to apply the mask while being alone in the car was never issued. However, the government further said that the health of the people is a state subject and the Delhi government has to take a decision on it. At the same time, it was told in the court on behalf of the Delhi government that it was mandatory in April 2020 to apply masks while driving alone in a personal or office car and this order is still in effect.
Sudesh Kumar, one of the petitioners against the challan, had told the court that he was challaned even after covering the mouth and nose with a scarf while driving the car, while he was alone in the car at that time. Kumar’s lawyer told the court that the challan given to him did not mention any crime and had written the date of its occurrence. This challan was issued by a sub-inspector while the challan book already had the stamp of the magistrate. Not only this, but he was also not given any receipt in lieu of a fine.