Dismissing four petitions challenging the collection of fine in cars when the drivers were found without a mask, the Delhi high court on Wednesday said it is mandatory to wear a mask in a private car even when the driver is alone in the car, as a vehicle is considered a public place. The bench of Justice Pratibha M Singh said a mask acts as Suraksha Kavach, which would prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
“Wearing of a mask of a face cover in a vehicle, which may be occupied by either a single person or multiple persons, is… compulsory in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the order said.
While dismissing the petitions, the court also chided the lawyers of the petitions challenging the mandatory mask rule. If the lawyers comply the rules, common people will be encouraged to follow the same, the court observed.
It also said that right at the outbreak of the pandemic, several experts, doctors and researchers emphasised the need to wear masks. Even after vaccination, one must not do away with the masks, the court said, adding that immediately after the outbreak of the pandemic, it was reiterated that wearing a mask is of paramount importance.
In November 2020, when advocate Saurabh Sharma filed a petition against the challan of ₹500 and sought a compensation of ₹10 lakh, the Delhi government maintained that a personal vehicle is not a private zone.
The ruling comes at a time when the Capital is witnessing a fresh surge in the number of daily infections and a night curfew from 10pm to 5am has been imposed in the city. On Tuesday, Delhi reported 5,100 new infections, the highest in this year so far.