The Delhi High Court on Tuesday said that the government order on making it mandatory to wear a mask inside a car even when a person is travelling alone was “absurd”. The court asked the Delhi government why the rule was in place even as the pandemic situation has changed, Live Law reported.
The court made the observation after Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra, who was representing the Delhi government in a matter related to the Covid-19 situation in the city, told the court that the rule needs to be reconsidered.
“Pandemic is almost over,” Mehra told the court, according to The Indian Express. “All those days when this was probably the right thing to do is not the right thing to do now. This relaxation must come in.”
In 2020, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority had issued various measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, including the compulsory wearing of masks in a moving vehicle. The order included a provision to impose a fine of Rs 500 in cases of violation of the rule. The fine amount was subsequently increased to Rs 2,000.
At Tuesday’s hearing, the court told Mehra that the order had been passed by the Delhi government itself and asked why it could not withdraw it.
In response, Mehra said that while the government’s process to revoke the order could take a few months, a court order would resolve the matter sooner, according to Live Law.
Notably, in April, a single-judge bench of the Delhi High Court had said that wearing a mask inside a vehicle was compulsory. The court had said that a vehicle should be considered as a “public place” even if it was occupied by one person.
A single-judge bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh had given the verdict while dismissing a batch of petitions challenging the fines imposed by the Delhi government.