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| 3 minutes read

3 minutes read

Ola And Uber In Problem Yet Again, Receive Notice From Karnataka Government

| Published on January 25, 2019

Since a long time now Ola and Uber have been facing a gamut of issues. From problems with drivers to the government, almost all parties involved in the business are making the ride a bumpy one for these companies.

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The Real Issue

This time around the Karnataka transport department is after these biggies and the issue is a failure to ensure that cabs hailed on their apps should not have a child lock

The transport department has reportedly said that the leading players, Ola and Uber, are not actively showing interest to ensure their driver partners disable the child lock system. Therefore, the department has issued notices to both the cab aggregators, asking why their license should not be revoked for not complying with the new rule.

The transport department claims it has removed the child-lock feature from about 22,000 cabs that had not disabled it and has penalized owners. In the last three-four days, the department claims to have found that almost 95% of the cabs continue to have the child lock feature. They have constituted 11 teams, each comprising three members, to check cabs on different stretches in the city.

The Reason For Notice

With repeated incidences of crime against women especially in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru involving cab drivers, the issue of child lock was brought to light.

Due to the child lock operated through the mobile app, in such cases, the victims get trapped in the cars and are not able to do much against the wishes of the cab driver. A woman passenger was sexually assaulted by an Ola cab driver in June 2018, wherein the driver forced her to strip, took pictures of her in his phone and even threatened to call his friends and gang rape her if she tried to protest.

This incident made the Women and Child Development Ministry take actions against Ola and Uber and demand a thorough background check of the drivers and also ensuring that the child lock feature is disabled in the vehicles that ply for them.

Later, Bengaluru Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology filed a PIL in this regard. The organization said that crimes against women passengers traveling in taxis have increased and there was a need to remove the child-lock system so that passengers are not at the mercy of the driver.

Way Ahead

Following this, the Karnataka Motor Vehicle Act was amended to disallow permits to cabs with child locks. Also, on January 11, 2019, the transport department clarified that the rule would apply to new as well as existing taxis. RTO had then set a January 16 deadline for removal of such locks.

With the new notice, the companies have been given a deadline of 5 days to ensure the disabling of child lock system on all vehicles under them.

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