Delhi

Mask compulsory when travelling alone, Delhi govt. tells HC

The Delhi government on Wednesday informed the High Court that wearing a mask is compulsory for everyone when travelling alone in private vehicles due to the pandemic.

The Delhi government reiterated that the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) had mandated wearing mask by any person who is moving in any public place, including inside their private vehicles as early as April. For first-time offenders, a person can be charged ₹500 and ₹1,000 for subsequent violations.

The affidavit came in response to a plea by advocate Saurabh Sharma challenging the ₹500 challan issued to him for not wearing mask while he was driving alone in his car.

“The main contention of the petitioner [Mr. Sharma] in the instant case is that while travelling alone in his private vehicle he is not in a “public place”, therefore, he cannot be subjected to a fine for not wearing a mask,” the Delhi government stated.

However, the guidelines are “clear cut”, the government said, adding, “any person moving around in his personal or official vehicle must be wearing masks compulsorily”.

“This applies to 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,” the government said.

During the hearing, Mr. Sharma’s counsel stated that subsequent to the April 4 office order of DDMA, the Union Health Ministry held a press conference where it said persons driving alone in a car are not required to wear a mask.

Following this, the High Court asked the Centre to place the correct position on whether wearing masks while driving is still compulsory. It posted the case for further hearing on January 7.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 3:11:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/mask-compulsory-when-travelling-alone-delhi-govt-tells-hc/article33128135.ece

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