Kerala HC Directs Police To Ensure That Drivers & Commuters Are Not Obstructed From Using Uber [Read Order]

Kerala HC Directs Police To Ensure That Drivers & Commuters Are Not Obstructed From Using Uber [Read Order]

"What is expected from the police in a case of this nature, is to take effective and sincere efforts to see that no person using "the application is obstructed or injured or the property of such person is damaged."

The Kerala High Court has directed the state to take appropriate measures to ensure that commuters and uber drivers are not obstructed from using the Uber application.

Justice PB Suresh Kumar observed that the acts of violence under the guise of protests, affecting the rights of citizens to move freely or to carry on their avocation and affecting their right to life are liable to be treated not only as mere criminal acts against the individuals, but also as serious offences against the society.

The court passed this interim order while considering writ petitions filed by Uber India System Private Limited and an Uber driver who alleged that a group of persons at the behest of a trade union are posing threats to the commuters and the service providers to compel them to refrain from using the application. They also alleged that they are resorting to acts of violence against those who do not accede to their demand. Relying on the judgment in Kodungallur Film Society and Another v. Union of India, it was urged before the court that the police in a case of this nature should take appropriate measures to prevent occurrence of untoward incidents.

Agreeing with these submissions, the court observed that the apprehension of untoward incidents entertained in the writ petition is not unfounded. Taking note of FIR copies annexed to the writ petitions, the judge observed that in all those cases, service providers using the application have been attacked and their vehicles were damaged in all those cases. The court said:

What is expected from the police in a case of this nature, is to take effective and sincere efforts to see that no person using "the application is obstructed or injured or the property of such person is damaged. It is trite that acts of violence under the guise of protests, affecting the rights of citizens to move freely or to carry on their avocation and affecting their right to life are liable to be treated not only as mere criminal acts against the individuals, but also as serious offences against the society.

The bench then directed the state to evolve appropriate and suitable measures to prevent the members and associates of the trade union from causing obstructions to the commuters and service providers of Uber Application, or causing any injury to them or damaging their vehicles and assets, including extending sufficient and meaningful police aid to them, so as to enable them to use the mobile application for availing and extending transport services.

The court also directed the police to invoke the provisions of the Kerala Prevention of Damage to Private Property and Payment of Compensation Ordinance, 2019, in cases involving damage to property in the guise of protest against the use of Uber application against the perpetrators and also against persons who have called for the protest.

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