Wearing face mask not compulsory if driving alone, MoHFW tells Delhi HC

New Delhi, Jan 10 (Agency) The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has informed Delhi High Court that there is no directive from the ministry on wearing a mask when a person is in a car alone. The government was responding to an affidavit in a plea filed by Saurabh Sharma, a lawyer, challenging the Rs 500 challan issued to him for not wearing a mask while he was driving alone in his private car.

He also sought a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for publicly causing mental harassment. As per the Delhi Epidemic Diseases (Management of Covid-19) Regulations 2020, issued under the Epidemic Diseases Act, authorities can impose a fine of Rs 500 for the first time and Rs 1,000 for a repeated violation of the guidelines, which mandate “wearing of face mask/cover in all public places/workplaces”.

Pointing out this, Mr Sharma argued that the guidelines only state that the mask has to be worn in a public place or place of work. MoHFW has submitted that health is a state subject and therefore, the present matter, prima facie, pertains to Delhi Government and prayed to remove the ministry’s name from the list of array of parties.