Irked over the incident, an advocate has moved the Delhi High Court seeking compensation worth Rs 10 lakh when fined Rs 500 by the police officials for not wearing a mask even when he was driving alone.
The petitioner, Advocate Saurabh Sharma is practicing in the field for the last 20 years. He has filed the petition through Advocate Joby P Varghese, and Advocate KC Mittal with Advocate Yugensh Mittal are representing him.
Advocate Sharma told that while he was travelling to his office on the morning of September 9, he was stopped by the Delhi police officials near Geeta Colony.
They clicked his photo while he was sitting in the car and then asked him to alight. He also stated that he had demanded the police to show the official order related to COVID-19 guidelines mandating wearing a mask even after being alone in a personal vehicle. But the authorities didn’t show any order.
“On inquiry, the Petitioner was informed that since he was travelling in his car without wearing a mask, he will be fined for a sum of Rs 500 under the offence of not wearing a mask in public place,” the petitioner said.
He mentioned that even after his constant efforts to impress upon the officials that he had not committed any offence as he was alone in the car, they didn’t hear a word and issued the challan.
The petitioner has not only sought the refund of the challan amount Rs 500, but has also asked the government to grant Rs 10 lakh compensation for the “unjust and illegal stopping” and “extortion” of fine which caused “huge mental turmoil and harassment”.
“Wearing a mask while sitting alone in the car is not a hazard to anyone’s health and safety but wearing it all the time even when a person is alone is certainly a health hazard for oneself,” said the petition.
The matter was heard by single judge bench of Justice Navin Chawla on Thursday. The court has directed the respondent authorities to submit the relevant document and has posted the matter for November 18.