Even as Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday criticised the Delhi government’s decision to ban some cab-booking services including Uber, following the alleged rape of a 27-year-old woman executive on Friday night, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh told the Rajya Sabha that the Centre has asked all the states and union territories to stop the operation of such unregistered web-based services.
Speaking to mediapersons outside Parliament, Gadkari said that banning cab services “was not a solution”. “New developments are taking place in transport systems through electronics. Banning the Railways for train accidents, buses for bus accidents and taxis is not correct,” he said.
“It is up to the state government to decide because the subject is in the Concurrent List. State governments have equal right to take a decision about it,” he added. Stating that new systems with modern concepts must be encouraged, Gadkari, however, noted that lacunae in such systems should be plugged.
“As per a report, 30 per cent of the driving licences in the country are bogus… We are going to change the 1988 Motor Vehicles Act by which we will have a centre comprising all records of drivers. That would help solve the problem of accessing the accident and criminal records of drivers,” said Gadkari.
Later, making a suo motu statement in the Rajya Sabha, Singh said the Centre has asked all states and union territories to stop cab-booking services which are not licensed with them. He, however, clarified that the government was not in favour of banning these services, but wants to regulate their operations. He said such service providers should be barred from operating till they get themselves registered.
“I want to say that our intentions should not be questioned in this regard,” he said. “The government of India strongly condemns this dastardly act. It will be ensured that all necessary steps are taken to bring the offender to justice,” he said.
Singh said the Delhi Police, which comes directly under him, is examining the legal liability of Uber. The government also promised stern action against the accused, and steps to ensure safety of women.
Condemning the incident, members asked how such incidents continued to occur despite the government’s “tall claims” after the December 16, 2012 bus gangrape.
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