women's safety

SC asks Centre to share how it plans on regulating app-based travel companies to ensure safety

Taxi aggregators have often argued that they only provide the technology for the services and cannot be held legally responsible for drivers’ actions.

The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Centre to share details about the measures it plans on taking to regulate internet-based transport companies and ensure passenger safety, DNA reported. The apex court said it will look into a petition seeking to have app-based travel services, such as Ola, Uber and redBus, regulated and held accountable for crimes committed by their drivers.

The bench scheduled the matter for December 7, The Indian Express reported.

Justices MB Lokur and Deepak Gupta announced the decision after hearing a matter related to women’s security and the implementation of a scheme to compensate victims of sexual offences and acid attacks. The amicus curiae in the case, senior advocate Indira Jaising, pointed out that there had been several such instances of crimes committed by drivers of these cab services.

It is necessary to have some regulatory framework for the companies running these services, Jaising said. She highlighted that Uber had lost its licence to function in London for “lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of matters that have potential public safety and security implications”.

Taxi or bus aggregators in India often refer to drivers who work with them as driver partners, which does not make them direct employees of the companies. In cases related to crimes committed by the drivers, they have held that they only provide the technology for passengers to use their services and cannot be held legally accountable for the drivers’ criminal activities.

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