Indian Court examines Uber, other cab apps on ensuring women’s safety


In a bid to further safe-guard women commuters, a Supreme Court in India has agreed to look into regulation of app-based cab service providers like Uber, Ola, and redBus.

A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta agreed to examine the plea for setting up of a regulatory mechanism for internet-based service providers after it was alleged that some of the companies are foreign-based and were not willing to come within the jurisdiction of Indian courts, Times of India report.

There are whispers that companies do not carry out adequate background checks on their drivers, hence making commuter vulnerable and there should be a proper mechanism to properly regulate them, a Senior advocate Indira Jaising, who is assisting the court as amicus curiae maintained.

The bench, thereafter, asked additional solicitor general Pinky Anand to examine the issue and respond on measures to be taken to ensure safety and security of commuters. “The issue… will be taken up on December 7,” it said.

In India, cab aggregators have long argued that they only provide the technology and platform for drivers and passengers to connect. While the companies claim they take action against drivers on receiving complaint, they are opposed to be made accountable for offences committed by drivers.

Last year, Delhi HC had directed app-based cab aggregators to furnish driver details and get records verified by police. “If someone comes to Delhi from another country and hires a taxi and if a driver commits a crime, who will be responsible? There should be some safeguards,” the court said. The SC also directed National Legal Services Authority to set up an expert panel to frame model rules for granting compensation to victims as there was no uniformity in schemes followed by states.