Can’t block Uber cabs, Delhi court tells protesting unions

The HC directed anyone against protesting “within 500 metres from the premises” of Uber or “instigating others to agitate”.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:February 14, 2017 3:59 am
Uber and Ola cabs parked near Jantar Mantar as the strike by the app-based operators entered the fourth day Monday. Abhinav Saha Uber and Ola cabs parked near Jantar Mantar as the strike by the app-based operators entered the fourth day Monday. Abhinav Saha

The Delhi High Court, in an interim order Monday, restrained anyone, including two taxi drivers’ unions, from “hampering” and interfering with the running of app-based cabs of Uber India.  Uber India Monday moved a civil suit against the Sarvodaya Driver Association of Delhi (SDAD) and Rajdhani Tourist Drivers’ Union, accusing them of blocking cabs of drivers who had not joined the strike, confiscating their devices and hampering their business.

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The HC directed anyone against protesting “within 500 metres from the premises” of Uber or “instigating others to agitate”. The matter will be heard next on February 17. “Our strike is on at least for the next two days till our demands are met. Those resorting to violence against fellow drivers are not associated with us. We do not know why Uber has filed a case against us,” Ranveer Singh, secretary of the SDAD, said.

Among the protesters at Jantar Mantar was Mushtaq Khan, a 34-year-old driver who sold his old cab and bought a swanky Honda Amaze on instalments of Rs 13,200 for four years. He also refurbished his Nizamuddin home after money started flowing in as he “partnered” with Uber.

“When I had my kaali peeli (black-and-yellow cab), I had stable earnings and I worked at my will. Once Uber, Ola entered the market, it was like a dream. But the last few months, my earnings have seen a nosedive,” Khan said. Others also criticised Uber and its Indian competitor Ola, both of which are estimated to have over 1.5 lakh driver-partners. Meanwhile, Monday — the fourth day of protest by the cab drivers — saw office-goers and tourists scrambling for alternate modes of travel.

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