Wearing of masks cannot be made an ego issue, says Delhi HC | Delhi News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Dismissing all the four petitions challenging impositions of challans for not wearing a mask amid the pandemic, the Delhi high court on Wednesday suggested that wearing of masks cannot be made an “ego” issue.
The court held that wearing masks is compulsory even if a person is driving alone in a car and stated that mask act as a “Suraksha Kavach”, which would prevent the spread of the deadly virus adding that, “even if a car is occupied by just one person, it is a public space.”
“Compliance by advocates and lawyers would encourage the general public to show greater inclination to comply. The duty of advocates and lawyers is of a greater magnitude, especially in the context of the pandemic for enforcement of directives, measures and guidelines issued under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and the Disaster Management Act, 2005,” the court said.
The court also noted that all the four petitioners in these cases, being lawyers ought to recognise and assist in the implementation of measures to contain the pandemic, rather than questioning the same. “Advocates as a class, owing to their legal training have a higher duty to show compliance especially in extenuating circumstances such as the pandemic,” the bench said.
The court also emphasised the need to wear masks when around with senior citizens and people with comorbidities and stating that several experts, doctors and researchers had emphasised the need to wear masks. Even masks should be worn even when a person is vaccinated, the court added.
Earlier, the 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.
The 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.
All “public places”, and a personal vehicle falls in the said category and cannot be said to be a “private zone” as contended by the petitioner in the instant case,” the state government said.
The court was hearing a petition that sought a refund of Rs 500 fine and compensation of Rs 10 lakh for publicly causing mental harassment.According to petitioner Saurabh Sharma, on September 9, Delhi Police issued a challan of Rs 500 for not wearing a mask even though he was alone in the car while driving to work.
The petitioner argued that the Department of Delhi Disaster Management Authority guidelines only states that the mask has to be worn in a public place or place of work.

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