The Delhi High Court on Wednesday ruled that it is compulsory to wear a mask in a vehicle even when driving alone. The Court stated that if the vehicle traverses through public places, there may be others who may risk exposure. The judgement was passed by a Single Judge Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh in a batch of petitions challenging the imposition of fines on those driving alone in their cars while not wearing a mask. All these petitions were dismissed as without merit, with the Court observing: “A mask is like a Suraksha Kavach for preventing the spread of the coronavirus. It protects the person wearing it as also the person who is exposed…wearing of masks has been one measure that has saved millions of lives,” the court said.
“Wearing of a mask of a face cover in a vehicle, which may be occupied by either a single person or multiple persons, is… compulsory in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the order further said.
But the Twitter wasn’t met with the same enthusiasm on Desi Twitter, where many pointed out a car was a private space and the rule shouldn’t apply.
Let’s wear masks even at home. Even if we are watching Tv alone. Yeah!— Kubbra Sait (@KubbraSait) April 7, 2021
The mind boggles. A car is a closed personal space and not a public space as the hon'ble judge claims. Besides, the glasses fog up with the mask on and driving becomes dangerous.What next – you can't smoke or sneeze inside your car as it is a public space? https://t.co/ctmWMGyetI
— Anand Ranganathan (@ARanganathan72) April 7, 2021
Sorry? So if I drive down to Pune alone, I must mask up for 4 hrs? How does a single traveller infect anyone or get infected inside a closed car? Also, to your point about cars being used by multiple ppl at home, we don't wear masks at home, do we?
— Nandita Warrier (@WarrierNandita) April 7, 2021
Most made a mockery out of it – and the memes definitely didn’t stop.
Delhi High Court: compulsory to wear mask Even if a person is driving alone in the car. 😷 pic.twitter.com/VE6UjNcHoz
— Priyanshi (Naam hi kaafi Hai) 😉 (@y_priyanshi) April 7, 2021
Wearing mask when driving alone in a car is mandatory by law in New Delhi. Election rallies with thousands without masks does not raise any eyebrows in India.
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) April 7, 2021
even if you are alone at home you need to wear mask because sometime you need to go to balcony and corona virus can infect you… hats of to this judgement …. https://t.co/acThO3HuX8
— Arun Tiwari🇮🇳 (@aruntiwar) April 7, 2021
One of the petitioners Advocate Saurabh Sharma, had also sought compensation of Rs 10 lakh after he was fined Rs 500 for not wearing a mask while he was driving alone in his private car. The petitioner argued that the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) guidelines only state that the mask has to be worn in a public place or place of work.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India, had informed the Delhi High Court in January that it has not issued any guidelines directing people to wear a mask while travelling alone in a vehicle.
Earlier, Delhi Government in the same matter had told the Delhi High Court that “any person” moving around in his personal or official vehicle must be wearing masks compulsorily. Delhi Government in its affidavit had submitted that guidelines are very clear cut that, “any person” moving around in his personal or official vehicle must be wearing masks compulsorily.