HC equates the protests against Uber with the violence of the Mafia; order the police action

KOCHI: matching the protests of drivers' unions against users and service providers of Uber Before the violence of the Mafia, on Wednesday he ordered the police to act according to the latest ordinance to avoid damage to private property. Such acts should be considered serious crimes against society, the court said.

Justice PB Suresh Kumar issued the order after considering a (WP-C No. 26397/2019) filed by Uber India Systems Pvt Ltd through advocate Santhosh Mathew and another petition by Rubel Theju.

The court ordered Kochi city ​​police commissioner to evolve appropriate and suitable measures, including sufficient police protection, to prevent members and associates of drivers ’unions from causing obstructions to commuters and service providers of Uber or causing any injury to them or damaging their vehicles and assets. The order further said, “It is also directed that respondents 2 and 3 (city police commissioner and station house officer) shall 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. ”

What is expected from the police is measures to ensure that nobody is prevented or obstructed from using Uber, the court said. “The posters claimed to have been affixed by the fourth respondent (Self Employed Drivers Union-AITUC) and their associates at various places, the copies of which are made available, would certainly involve a threat not only to the service providers but also to the commuters availing service through the application.

Copies of the first information reports produced in the written requests establish prima facie that the apprehension of adverse incidents entertained by the petitioners is not unfounded. It is seen that the service providers that use the application have been attacked and their vehicles were damaged in all those cases. As the wise lawyer of the petitioners rightly pointed out, what is expected of the police is that a case of this nature is to make effective and sincere efforts to ensure that no person using the application is obstructed or injured or that the property of that person is damaged. It is obvious that acts of violence under the pretext of protests, which affect the rights of citizens to move freely or continue their annulment and affect their right to life, can be treated not only as mere criminal acts against people, but also as serious crimes against society.

When ordering police protection, the court referred to the decision of the Supreme Court last year (Film Society v. Union of India), which argued that mafia violence cannot be allowed in the name of protests.