NEW DELHI :
WEARING a mask while driving alone in a private vehicle is compulsory as it is a public place in the context of COVID-19, the Delhi High Court held on Wednesday and described face covering as a ‘suraksha kavach’ or protective shield against the spread of the infection. Justice Prathiba M Singh refused to interfere with the Delhi Government’s decision to impose challans for not wearing a mask while driving a private car alone, saying, a vehicle even if occupied by one person would constitute a public place.
“There are several possibilities in which while sitting alone in the car one could be exposed to the outside world. Thus, it cannot be said that merely because the person is travelling alone in a car, the car would not be a public place. “Wearing of a mask therein would be compulsory in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the court said.
Masks are necessary irrespective of whether a person is vaccinated or not, it added. Justice Singh’s ruling and observations came while dismissing four petitions by lawyers who challenged the imposition of ‘challans’ for not wearing a mask while driving alone in a private vehicle. “The wearing of a mask is like a ‘suraksha kavach’ for preventing the spread of COVID-19,” the court said, noting that a mask protects the person wearing it and also those exposed to him or her.