Wearing of mask while driving alone mandatory during pandemic, says Delhi HC

HC says a masks acts like ‘suraksha kavach’ through the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.

Carrying a masks or face cowl in a automobile occupied by both a single individual or a number of individuals is obligatory within the view of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, the Delhi Excessive Courtroom dominated on Wednesday.

“A masks is a ‘suraksha kavach’ for stopping the unfold of the corona virus,” Justice Prathiba M. Singh remarked, whereas dismissing 4 completely different pleas difficult the ₹500 challan issued to individuals for not carrying face masks whereas travelling alone in a non-public automotive.

“A automobile which is transferring throughout the town, even when occupied at a given cut-off date by one individual, can be a public place owing to the speedy danger of publicity to different individuals underneath various circumstances,” the courtroom stated.

In one of many 4 circumstances, a lawyer, who was on his method to his chambers at Tis Hazari Courts on August 9, 2020, and driving his privately owned automotive, was stopped close to Aruna Asaf Ali Hospital, Rajpur Highway, Civil Strains by the police.

The lawyer was in his automotive travelling alone, along with his masks hanging on his face, from considered one of his ears. The case of the lawyer is that since he was in his automotive alone, he had not placed on the face masks and that he had supposed to put on the masks as quickly as he stepped out of the automotive.

He said that the 4 home windows of his automotive have been closed. When the police official stopped his automotive, he was knowledgeable that non-wearing of masks by him is in violation of the Delhi Epidemic Ailments (Administration of COVID-19) Laws, 2020, and a sum of ₹500 was imposed on him as superb.

The lawyer had sought to declare that privately owned vehicles are non-public locations for the aim of the Laws of 2020. Other than refund of the quantity of ₹500, he additionally sought a compensation of ₹5 lakh.

The Excessive Courtroom additionally clarified that authorised individuals underneath the Laws 2020 would come with a District Justice of the Peace, Sub-Divisional Justice of the Peace, any officer of Well being Division, who could also be authorised, or of the State authorities. It additionally contains officers who maintain the place of a Sub-Inspector or above within the Delhi Police.

Justice Singh highlighted that an individual travelling in a automobile or automotive, even when he’s alone, may very well be uncovered to the virus in numerous methods. “The individual might have visited a market, or office, or hospital or a busy road, previous to getting into the automotive or automobile. Such an individual could also be required to maintain home windows open for the needs of air flow”.

“The automobile may be required to be stopped at a visitors sign and the individual might buy any product by rolling down the window. The individual might, thus, be uncovered to a street-side vendor. Thus, it can’t be stated that merely as a result of the individual is travelling alone in a automotive, the automotive wouldn’t be a public place,” Justice Singh stated.

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