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Delhi HC Accepts Petition Alleging Discrimination By Uber Against Specially-Abled

Delhi HC Accepts Petition Alleging Discrimination By Uber Against Specially-Abled

Delhi High Court has set August 23 as the next date of hearing

The lawsuit filed by Arman Ali in 2019 alleges that an Uber driver refused to put his wheelchair in the backseat, saying it would damage his car seat

Both the parties have also been directed to file a status report on the directives issued by Centre for taxi aggregators for taking steps in the interest of specially-abled persons

The Delhi High Court (HC) has accepted a writ petition against mobility platform Uber for allegedly discriminating against a specially-abled person. The court has set August 23 as the next date of hearing.

The HC also directed both the parties to file a status report on the directives issued by Centre for taxi aggregators for taking steps in the interest of specially-abled persons. The report has to be filed before the next date of hearing.

The lawsuit was filed by Uber passenger Arman Ali, who is also the executive director of National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), in 2019. Ali alleged that an Uber driver refused to put his wheelchair in the backseat, saying it would damage his car seat.

In his petition, Ali stated that the incident formed a case of discrimination under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. 

In a statement, Ali said, “It is a complete violation of rights. Services and products should be overhauled and designed to be in accordance with the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act, 2016. Still, after more than 5 years of the act coming into existence, its implementation remains low-spirited. They need to be enforced to avoid such instances of discrimination.”

Previously, the Delhi Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities had issued a show-cause notice to Uber India over the matter. Ali claimed that there was no response from the ride hailing company nor did anyone appear at the show-cause hearing convened by the Delhi disabilities commision. 

Later, Uber expressed ‘sincere regrets for the inconvenience’ caused to the petitioner but refused to take any responsibility for the conduct of the driver, Ali said. 

Companies Under Lens For Alleged Discrimination

This is not the first time when a company is under scrutiny for its behaviour with specially-abled persons. Earlier this month, IndiGo airlines barred a specially-abled child, who was in a wheelchair, from boarding a flight. 

Later, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) reportedly issued a show-cause notice to the airline after it investigated the incident and found IndiGo at fault.

In a separate case in February this year, a specially-abled woman in a wheelchair was denied entry into a Gurugram restaurant saying that it would ‘disturb other customers.’

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