Supreme Court to look into plea on app-based cab services

Ola cab

The Supreme Court on Thursday said it would look into a plea to regulate app-based taxi service providers like Ola and Uber to make them accountable for offences committed by drivers of vehicles.

The petitioner demanded that all public transport vehicles should be fitted with GPS system along with high-security registration plates besides maintenance of logbook.

Jaising is amicus to the court in a case relating to grant of compensation to rape victims under the Nirbhaya scheme. However, In India cab aggregators have ascertained that their technology is limited for the driver and passenger to connect and any offence by the driver can be subject to expulsion and cannot be challenged legally. The drivers are often addressed as "driver partners" by the companies.

After being told that the regulation of internet-based taxi operators and other public transport systems was criticial in the view of December 16, 2012 incident of gang-rape in a moving bus in Delhi, a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta agreed to look into the matter. They claim that they ban or suspend drivers from their platform depending on the seriousness of the offence committed, however, they can not necessarily be held accountable legally.

This is a very wide grey zone - and one that the petition might help find answers to.

If, say, a person is assaulted in a taxi, who is to be held accountable? She said there was no uniformity among states to deal with sexual harassment in public transport.

The courts have asked a similar question earlier.

The Delhi High Court had a year ago in February asked the government and police to check if all cab drivers in the city had valid licences.

This was after a foreign tourist had been molested by a taxi driver.

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