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

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The Supreme Court on Thursday said app-based transport service providers like Uber, Ola, redBus needed to be regulated to ensure safety of women commuters and asked the Centre to examine the issue.

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

"It is very hard to hold them accountable for any crime committed by their drivers", Senior advocate Indira Jaising, who is assisting the court as amicus curiae, was quoted as saying by a news agency. She informed the court that Uber had recently been banned in London. She added that these companies did not have headquarters in India and hence, it was hard to hold them accountable for crimes committed by their drivers.

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"If someone comes to Delhi from another country and hires a taxi and if a driver commits a crime, who will be held responsible?" the court had asked then.

The bench said it will hear the plea on December 7 and asked Jaising to submit data and other details.

Ms. Jaising further raised the question of victim protection, pointing out that many succumb to the pressure of the accused and turn hostile.

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The court was responding to a petition seeking compensation for rape victims.

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. It had also noted the absence of an integrated system of disbursal and management of the money allocated for compensating the victims.

She said there was no uniformity among states to deal with sexual harassment in public transport.

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