A personal vehicle is not a private zone and any person in it must wear a mask compulsorily, the Delhi Government has asserted before the Delhi High Court.(Saurabh Sharma vs Sub-Divisional Magistrate, East & Ors). The statement was made in relation to the petition filed by an advocate seeking compensation of Rs 10 lakh after he was fined Rs 500 for not wearing a mask while driving alone in his car.
The affidavit filed by the Delhi Government in this regard -
“The main contention of the Petitioner in the instant case is that while travelling alone in his private vehicle he is not in a ‘public place’, therefore, he cannot be subjected to a fine for not wearing a mask..the guidelines are very clear cut that ‘any person’ moving around in his personal or official vehicle must be wearing masks cumpulsorily. This applies to all ‘public places’, and a personal vehicle falls in the said category and cannot be said to be a private zone..”
On a Supreme Court judgment, the Delhi Government has submitted their reply that when a private vehicle passes through a public road, the public has the opportunity to “approach the private vehicle” and have access to it. Thus, prayed that the petition should be dismissed.The petition was listed for hearing before a Single Judge Bench of Justice Navin Chawla.However, since the affidavit of the Ministry was yet to be filed, the Court adjourned the hearing till January 7.
Earlier the Court had issued notice in Advocate Saurabh Sharma's petition against the same cause. As per the Petitioner, the imposition of fine was unjust and illegal as he was alone in his personal, private vehicle. The petition was filed through Advocate Joby P Varghese. Delhi Government was represented by Advocate Devesh Singh.
Advocate Farman Ali appeared for the Health Ministry.