New Delhi: The Delhi High Court observed that any vehicle out in public is a "public place" where Covid rules apply, and one should wear a mask even if they are driving alone in the car. The court mentioned that the mask is a "suraksha kavach" or protective armour, reports NDTV.
The court was hearing a case in which three petitioners, including lawyer Saurabh Sharma, challenged the 500 rupees fine they were forced to pay for not wearing a mask while they were driving alone. Two of them demanded compensation for 'mental harassment.'
"Even if you are alone in the car, why object to wearing a mask? It is for your own safety," the judge Pratibha M Singh said. "The pandemic crisis has increased. Whether a person is vaccinated or not, they should wear masks," she added. She further added that this was the least anyone could do to be safe from the pandemic, citing the advice of scientists worldwide.
The court observed that when drivers roll down their windows at a traffic signal, the virus could spread because it is that contagious and infect anyone. The court also suggested encouraging wearing masks inside houses if there are older people or people with comorbidities.
The Union Health Ministry had testified that there was no rule for a lone car driver to wear a mask which a petitioner pointed out. However, Delhi's Aam Aadmi Party government had argued in favour of masks in all private or public vehicles. Delhi government had passed an order regarding it in April last year.
On Tuesday, Delhi reported 5,100 fresh Covid-19 cases in the most significant single-day figure this year. Over 1.15 lakh new cases were reported in the last 24 hours across India, for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic