Oct 13: Public transport services, including app-based taxi services like Uber and Ola, would be made accountable for breach of women safety, with the Supreme Court today deciding to bring in a regulatory mechanism in this regard.
Accepting the suggestions put forward by amicus curiae and senior lawyer Indira Jaising towards putting in place a regime to check sexual harassment of women when they travel in public transport buses or app-based taxis like Uber and Ola, the Supreme Court bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said such a regulatory regime would be deployed.
Telling the court that when Uber had refused to subject to court jurisdiction, it was banned in London, Indira Jaising called for a similar provision in India too. She stated that it would make sure that companies would not be able to evade legal action in case of incidents of rape and sexual harassment in cabs and by drivers.
Jaising also apprised the court that states don’t have a uniform mechanism to deal with sexual harassment cases that happen in public transport terrain. There wasn’t also a proper victim compensation scheme, she added.
The SC bench directed the Union government 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.
The National Legal Services Authority was also directed to suggest a model victim compensation scheme that can be implemented in all states so as to provide relief to victims.