'Mask not needed in car', says Delhi couple arrested for misbehaving with cops

The Delhi high court had said earlier this month that a mask is compulsory even if a person is driving alone in a private vehicle.
The man has been identified as Pankaj Dutta, a resident of West Patel Nagar. His wife Abha Yadav is seen arguing with the policemen on duty on Sunday.(Videograb)
The man has been identified as Pankaj Dutta, a resident of West Patel Nagar. His wife Abha Yadav is seen arguing with the policemen on duty on Sunday.(Videograb)
Published on Apr 19, 2021 05:39 PM IST
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By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The couple who was arrested for misbehaving with the police when asked to wear face mask while travelling inside the car, still refused to accept their mistake. The man and his wife were arrested during weekend curfew on Sunday.

On Monday, the man, identified as Pankaj Dutta, said that he feels the mask is not for a couple in a car. "We had face masks with us but we didn't wear them because we felt that it was not for a couple in a car," said Dutta, a resident of West Patel Nagar in Delhi.

His wife Abha Yadav said she feels suffocated while wearing a mask and also gave logic for why Covid-19 appropriate behaviour should not be followed in a car.

"I feel suffocation and breathing problems when I wear mask. Logically, I thought that it was not needed in the car as I was with my husband only. My opinion is that mask must be worn at public places," said Yadav.

While the man was arrested on Sunday, Abha Yadav was arrested on Monday, the police said.

A video of the incident was shared on social media platforms, wherein the couple could be seen misbehaving with Delhi police personnel when they were asked the reason for not wearing masks.

In the video, Abha Yadav can be heard saying, “…I have cleared UPSC…”. One of the policemen then told her that since she has cleared the civil services examination, conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), she should behave in a more responsible manner with respect to the Covid-19 norms in place. “Why should I wear a mask in my car? What if I have to kiss my husband?" the woman can be heard asking them.

Watch: Delhi couple stopped for not wearing masks, misbehaves with cops


The couple was taken to the Daryaganj police station and a first information report (FIR) under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was registered against them.

"During interrogation, the man put the blame on his wife and told police that his wife does not wear mask and also does not lets him wear the same. However, he claimed that whenever she is not around, he always wears a mask," a senior police officer said.

The Delhi high court had said earlier this month that a mask is compulsory even if a person is driving alone in a private vehicle. A car will be considered a "public place", the court had ruled, terming mask as 'suraksha kavach (safety armour)'.

Delhi has been witnessing a surge in number of Covid-19 cases, prompting the Arvind Kejriwal-led government to impose lockdown-like measures in the national capital from April 19 till next Monday.

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Friday, October 22, 2021