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Mask A Must, Even In Personal Cars: Delhi High Court

New Delhi : The Delhi High Court on wednesday stated that it is compulsory to wear masks even if traveling in a personal car. A car will be considered as a "Public place" and even if the individual is driving alone they must put on a mask, rules HC.

The decision was announced by Judge Pratibha M Singh, while hearing a plea from petitioners who were charged fines for not wearing a mask while driving alone. She termed Mask as a "Suraksha Kawach(Armor)" which is of utmost importance for an individual to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. "If a vehicle halts at a traffic signal, a driver often rolls down their window at some point of time. The coronavirus is so contagious that even in that short span of time, one can get infected," the court stated.

Judge Pratibha Singh also added that researchers, scientists, doctors, international medical organisations and governments emphasize on wearing face masks to restrict the outbreak of the Coronavirus as the world continues to fight against the pandemic. Arvind Kejriwal, CM of Delhi has argued in favour of masks for everyone in private or public vehicles and had also passed such an order in May 2020.

The Delhi High Court was earlier informed by the Union Health Ministry that there wasn't any rule regarding a lone driver wearing a mask while driving a personal vehicle. But each state government had the authority to make its own set of rules and enforce them, the ministry stated.

Lawyers had filed four petitions last year(2020), challenging the imposition of a fine of ₹500 on those who weren't wearing face masks while travelling alone in a private car. The court on Wednesday revoked the petitions and cautioned the lawyers, owing to their legal training, should have shown higher compliance in the issue.

In light of the rapidly increasing Covid cases and the imposition of night curfews and lockdowns across the country, this decision by the Delhi High Court has forced the authorities to take strict action against anyone who doesn't wear a mask at a public for whatever reason.