Wearing Mask Compulsory Even While Driving Alone During COVID-19 Pandemic, Says Delhi High Court

Wearing Mask Compulsory Even While Driving Alone During COVID-19 Pandemic, Says Delhi High Court

The wearing of a face mask was one measure which saved millions of lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, Delhi High Court pointed out
Coronavirus Outbreak, Delhi, News
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Wearing Mask Compulsory Even While Driving Alone During Pandemic, Says Delhi High CourtThere are several possibilities in which while sitting alone in the car one could be exposed to the outside world: Delhi High Court on measures to contain COVID-19 pandemic
Highlights
  • Vehicle even if occupied by 1 person would constitute a public place: HC
  • Wearing of a mask should be compulsory due to the pandemic: HC
  • Wearing masks is must irrespective of whether a person is vaccinated: HC

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 (April 7) 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.

Also Read: New Wave Of COVID-19 Spreading Faster Than Last Year, Demand For Beds Increasing: Delhi’s LNJP Hospital

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.

The wearing of a face mask was “one measure which saved millions of lives” during the pandemic, it pointed out.

Also Read: Delhi Has Taken More Air Pollution Control Measures Than Any Other City But There Is Still A Long Way Ahead: CSE Report

The court further noted in its verdict that upon the outbreak of the pandemic, globally as well as nationally, scientists, researchers, international organizations and governments emphasised the importance of wearing facial masks to control the spread of the disease.

In the absence of a complete definitive cure, the world continues to wrestle with the pandemic. The challenge of the pandemic was enormous at the outbreak of the same and even with the introduction of a few vaccines, the emphasis continues to be laid on wearing face masks. The wearing of masks is necessary irrespective of whether a person is vaccinated or not, it said.

The lawyers, in their pleas, had contended that the District Magistrates who were vested with the powers to impose fines could not have sub-delegated the powers to others. Disagreeing with the contention, Justice Singh said that the definition of ‘authorised persons’ being inclusive and expansive in nature, District Magistrates were also vested with powers to further authorise any officers to issue challans.

The list of officers, who were authorised is broad and in the opinion of this court it has to be interpreted expansively and not restrictively….The challans have been issued by duly authorised officers. The prayer for quashing of the challans is thus not sustainable, the court said.

It further said that being lawyers and advocates, the petitioners “ought to recognise and assist in the implementation of the measures for curtailing the spread of the pandemic, instead of questioning the legality of the same”. Compliance of the measures by lawyers would encourage the general public to also comply with the same. During the proceedings, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, represented by advocate Farman Ali Magray, had told the court that it has not issued any direction asking people to wear masks in a car when they are alone.

The ministry said health is a state subject and the Delhi government has to take a decision on it. The Delhi government had told the court that wearing masks while driving an official or personal vehicle was made compulsory through an office order in April last year and it remained in force. It also said a private vehicle was held to be a public place by the Supreme Court.

Also Read: Amid Rising COVID-19 Cases, Delhi Government Imposes Night Curfew From 10 pm To 5 am, Releases Guidelines

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

19,78,31,904Cases
6,39,24,968Active
12,96,89,916Recovered
42,17,020Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 194 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 19,78,31,904 and 42,17,020 have died; 6,39,24,968 are active cases and 12,96,89,916 have recovered as on August 1, 2021 at 3:55 am.

India

3,16,55,824 41,831Cases
4,10,952 2,032Active
3,08,20,521 39,258Recovered
4,24,351 541Deaths
In India, there are 3,16,55,824 confirmed cases including 4,24,351 deaths. The number of active cases is 4,10,952 and 3,08,20,521 have recovered as on August 1, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

63,03,715 6,959

80,138 733

60,90,786 7,467

1,32,791 225

Kerala

33,90,761 20,624

1,65,011 3,679

32,08,969 16,865

16,781 80

Karnataka

29,05,124 1,987

23,820 318

28,44,742 1,632

36,562 37

Tamil Nadu

25,59,597 1,986

20,716 218

25,04,805 2,178

34,076 26

Andhra Pradesh

19,66,175 2,058

21,180 18

19,31,618 2,053

13,377 23

Uttar Pradesh

17,08,441 31

712 17

16,84,973 48

22,756

West Bengal

15,28,019 769

11,113 58

14,98,770 819

18,136 8

Delhi

14,36,265 58

581 1

14,10,631 56

25,053 1

Chhattisgarh

10,02,008 102

1,863 102

9,86,621 203

13,524 1

Odisha

9,77,268 1,578

14,538 389

9,56,828 1,899

5,902 68

Rajasthan

9,53,667 17

248 6

9,44,465 22

8,954 1

Gujarat

8,24,877 27

252 8

8,14,549 35

10,076

Madhya Pradesh

7,91,828 22

122 1

7,81,193 21

10,513

Haryana

7,69,913 29

712 0

7,59,566 27

9,635 2

Bihar

7,24,835 44

457 1

7,14,735 45

9,643

Telangana

6,44,951 621

9,069 72

6,32,080 691

3,802 2

Punjab

5,99,104 51

534 10

5,82,277 60

16,293 1

Assam

5,66,198 989

13,322 510

5,47,616 1,480

5,260 19

Jharkhand

3,47,173 36

252 8

3,41,793 44

5,128

Uttarakhand

3,42,139 116

632 13

3,34,145 129

7,362

Jammu And Kashmir

3,21,462 118

1,176 5

3,15,908 113

4,378

Himachal Pradesh

2,06,027 153

1,217 80

2,01,289 72

3,521 1

Goa

1,71,146 94

1,058 35

1,66,941 128

3,147 1

Puducherry

1,20,915 100

962 17

1,18,158 115

1,795 2

Manipur

98,499 801

10,540 195

86,403 981

1,556 15

Tripura

78,583 222

3,482 2

74,346 224

755

Meghalaya

65,000 686

5,966 175

57,949 499

1,085 12

Chandigarh

61,953 1

31 5

61,111 5

811 1

Arunachal Pradesh

48,122 266

3,954 188

43,939 451

229 3

Mizoram

38,925 861

12,388 213

26,387 643

150 5

Nagaland

27,872 159

1,329 55

25,977 99

566 5

Sikkim

26,548 237

3,400 98

22,804 137

344 2

Ladakh

20,338 10

56 6

20,075 4

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,650 6

29 1

10,617 7

4

Lakshadweep

10,189 11

84 7

10,055 4

50

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,537 2

8 0

7,400 2

129

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