A personal vehicle is not a private zone andany person in it must wear mask compulsorily, the Delhi Government has asserted before the Delhi High Court. (Saurabh Sharma vs Sub-Divisional Magistrate, East & Ors)
The statement was made in relation to the petition filed by an advocate seeking compensation of Rs 10 lakh after he was fined Rs 500 for not wearing a mask while driving alone in his car. The petition was listed for hearing today before a Single Judge Bench of Justice Navin Chawla. The affidavit filed by the Delhi Government in this regard reads,
The main contention of the Petitioner 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 Regulations/Directives/Guidelines are very clear cut that “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.
Relying on a Supreme Court judgment on the issue to wear mask, the Delhi Government has submitted that when a private vehicle passes through a public road, the public has the opportunity to “approach the private vehicle” and have access to it.
Thus, while defending its orders which mandate wearing of masks and imposition of fine for non-compliance to wear mask, the Delhi Government has prayed that the petition be dismissed.
During the course of the hearing, the counsel appearing in connected matters informed the Court that a clarification had been issued by the Health Ministry, Government of India stating that any person sitting in a car need not wear mask.
However, since the affidavit of the Ministry was yet to be filed, the Court adjourned the hearing till January 7.
All petitions which raise a similar issue will be taken up on the same date.