The Delhi High Court on Wednesday dismissed pleas against imposition of fines for not wearing masks when driving a vehicle alone.
Justice Prathibha M. Singh had heard arguments from the Centre, Delhi government and petitioners who opposed the fines. She had reserved her verdict in the matter on February 17.
The Delhi High Court held mask is like a suraksha kavach (protective shield) during prevailing COVID-19 pandemic. “Scientists and international governments advise wearing of a mask.
The challenge of the pandemic was enormous and the wearing of face masks is necessary whether a person is vaccinated or not,” Justice Singh was quoted as saying by Live Law. The court observed, “vehicle even if constituted by one person would constitute a public place… wearing of mask would be compulsory,” Bar and Bench reported.
The Delhi government had told the Delhi High Court that wearing masks while driving an official or personal vehicle was made compulsory by way of an office order in April last year and it remained in force. The Delhi government had based its reasoning on the Supreme Court’s observation that held a private vehicle to be a public place.
The petitioners had argued that in the absence of any law or notification making it mandatory to wear a mask while driving alone in a private vehicle, the levy of fine was “arbitrary and illegal”.