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  India   All India  13 Oct 2017  Uber, Ola accountable if women harassed?

Uber, Ola accountable if women harassed?

Published : Oct 13, 2017, 1:58 am IST
Updated : Oct 13, 2017, 1:58 am IST

Jaising pointed out that Uber was banned in London after it refused to subject to court jurisdiction.

Supreme Court of India. (Photo: PTI)
 Supreme Court of India. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday decided to put in place a regulatory regime for making public transport authorities, including app-based taxi services like Uber and Ola, accountable for breach of women safety.

A bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta accepted the suggestions of amicus curiae and senior advocate Indira Jaising for having such a regime to check sexual harassment of women when they travel in public transport buses or app-based taxis.


Ms Jaising pointed out that Uber was banned in London after it refused to subject to court jurisdiction. A similar provision should be set up in India so that such companies can’t evade legal action if incidents of rape, sexual harassment take place in cabs and by drivers. She said there was no uniformity among states to deal with sexual harassment in public transport. She also wanted a proper victim compensation scheme.

The bench asked the Centre to respond to the suggestion and to come out with a mechanism so that the court could pass appropriate orders to ensure the safety and protection of women.

In the last hearing, the court had expressed concern that crores of rupees allotted for fitting GPS and high security plates in all public transport vehicles are not being spent. No steps are being taken for maintenance of a logbook, creating awareness, recruitment of more cops and providing them with sophisticated security gadgets and installation of CCTV cameras in sensitive places. The court asked the National Legal Services Authority to suggest a model victim compensation scheme, which could be put in place in all states to provide relief to victims of sexual harassment.  


The bench was hearing a PIL filed by a law student, Nipun Saxena, and advocate Ankita Chaudhary expressing concern over the rising rate of crime, particularly rape incidents across the country. They submitted that the first measure should be that all public and transport vehicles should be fitted with GPS system, all vehicles should carry names and telephone numbers of the owners, drivers, conductors, cleaners in large size on the back side of the vehicles to enable the passengers for communication.  

They added that the government should give encouragement to employ more and more women as bus drivers/conductors and also to start taxi/auto service with women on the wheels so that women will have the option to choose the transport of their choice. The bench directed the matter to be listed for further hearing on December 5.


Tags: supreme court, uber
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi