PIL filed in Bombay High Court against Uber India The popular transport aggregator has been charged for lacking grievance redressal mechanism in India A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed before the Bombay High Court against transportation aggregator Uber India, alleging lack of consumer grievance redressal mechanism to resolve complaints lodged by the customers....
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PIL filed in Bombay High Court against Uber India
The popular transport aggregator has been charged for lacking grievance redressal mechanism in India
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed before the Bombay High Court against transportation aggregator Uber India, alleging lack of consumer grievance redressal mechanism to resolve complaints lodged by the customers.
Savina Crasto, one of the petitioners, argued that she faced several difficulties concerning booking a cab ride on Uber, the ride experience and the subsequent payment of money, to which later she discovered that Uber's mobile application does not allow to place on record satisfactorily, which were the main reason for unpleasant rides. She also argued that their details were not easily available.
The following reliefs were sought before the Court:
Firstly, to direct the Union and the State government to implement the guidelines laid down in the Motor Vehicle Aggregators Guidelines 2020. Secondly, direct the State government to order Uber to add their complete details on the mobile app; to remove the embargo on the length of the complaint and; to resolve customer grievances in a time-bound manner. Thirdly, declare that Uber is required to comply with the statutory obligations, terms and conditions in Advisory for licensing, compliance and liability of On-demand Information Technology based Transportation Aggregator.
The plea further submitted that the app-based transport operator was not complying with the statutory obligations though it is bound by the terms and conditions mentioned in the Advisory for licensing, compliance and liability of On-demand Information Technology based Transportation Aggregator (Advisory).
It was pointed out by the petitioner that one of the provisions in the Advisory states that the "rider must be facilitated either via the web or on a mobile app or through a customer service telephone number and an email address to submit their grievances or difficulties faced during travel."
According to the Advisory, operators like Uber are supposed to specifically assign a grievance officer for addressing complaints facility, which according to the petitioner has not been provided by Uber.
"Uber has a worldwide presence and does not treat the citizens of this country at par with the others in developed nations and care less about them," petitioner stated while alleging that Uber guards its details in such a manner which leaves the customers helpless.
The ride-friendly company was reportedly not complying with the Motor Vehicle Aggregators Guidelines 2020, which provide for allocating call centres with valid telephone number and operational email address with 24x7 working operations, it was contended.
The petitioner asserted that despite such obligations in place, there was no mechanism present in the app to mention the grievance in details. The app only has a list of options from which the customers are expected to choose while raising their grievance, the plea contained.
The petitioner pleaded that "the cab-hailing service company, Uber, does not feel that the citizens have the right to properly complain or raise genuine grievance which is discriminatory and arbitrary."
Petitioner finally prayed that if the public at large is not allowed to freely file their complaints, then they would be exploited by the company Uber and would further deprive the public of their right to be heard.
The Bombay HC bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni on 27 January 2021 directed the State to inform the Court about the measures they are likely to undertake for implementation of the grievance redressal mechanism after briefly hearing the petitioner.