Delhi High Court: Single passengers in private vehicles should wear masks

The judgement was given with respect to petitions filed four by different lawyers challenging the imposition of challan for not wearing a mask while driving a private vehicle alone.

The main questions to be addressed by the Court was:

1)Whether a single person travelling in a private vehicle, can be considered as potential threat to the spreading of the corona virus.

2)Whether private vehicles can be considered as “public places”A Bench consisting of Justice Prathiba Singh heard the present case.

The Bench was of the opinion that travelling alone in a private vehicle is a temporary phase.The commuter could have possibly come in contact with the virus through external sources such as (markets, workplaces, hospitals people at traffic signals etc.)

Further, it was stated that there might be other passengers in the car after this phase, and the droplets of virus, left behind by the single passenger without mask could affect the other co-passengers even after several hours.

It was also stated that the private vehicle travelling in public spaces can be considered as a public space for the purposes of controlling the spread of Covid19.It was further stated that in a situation where the passenger keeps the window open for circulation of air, the single passenger could affect the public at large.

Therefore, the court mandated masks should be worn by a single passenger while travelling in a private vehicle, to prevent the spread of the virus.

The Court while dismissing these four petitions stated that it is the duty of lawyers or advocates to implement the preventive measures instead of questioning the same.

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