The Delhi High Court has ruled that wearing face masks in a car is mandatory even if the person is alone in the vehicle. The decision came in during the hearing of a case involving fines for not wearing a mask while driving alone. Stating that a car will be considered to be a "public place" Judge Pratibha M Singh said, "Even if you are alone in the car, why object to wearing a mask? It is for your own safety."
Addressing the petitions challenging the imposition of challans on people for not wearing masks while alone in private cars, the Delhi High Court observed that even those who have been vaccinated must wear masks. "The pandemic crisis has increased. Whether a person is vaccinated or not, they should wear masks," the Judge further added.
The ruling came based on the petition filed by lawyer Saurabh Sharma, who approached the Delhi High Court challenging a ₹ 500 fine he was forced to pay by the Delhi Police for driving alone without a mask. The petitioner argued saying the Centre stated that there was no need to wear masks while alone in private cars. Two more petitioners had challenged the ₹ 500 fines they were charged for not wearing masks while driving alone. They had even asked for compensation for "mental harassment".
However, the court said that wearing mask while driving on the road is the least anyone could do to be safe against Covid, as several experts, doctors and researchers had emphasised on the need to wear masks. The judge also added that while on the road a driver often has to roll down the car window, and the coronavirus is so contagious that even in that time, anyone can be infected.
Delhi's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has argued in favour of masks for all in private or public vehicles and had also passed such an order in April last year. Recently, the government has also imposed night curfew in the national capital from 10 pm to 5 am.