Delhi HC seeks response from Rapido in plea seeking direction to address issues faced by disabled persons

Feb 8, 2024



New Delhi: Delhi High Court has recently sought answers cab aggregator Rapido in a plea Guidelines are being sought to address the problems faced by people with disabilities while using its services.
High Court informed that despite six updates, problems are being faced disabled persons Have not been resolved yet.
Justice Subramaniam Prasad issued notice rapido And sought his response on the petition filed by Amar Jain for April 2, 2024.
The court was also told that several updates of the mobile application have been made by the defendant.
The high court is hearing a petition seeking direction to the company to make its services accessible and disabled-friendly.
On November 9, 2023, the High Court had issued a notice to Rapido and the Central Government asking them to file a reply.
The petition has been filed by Amar Jain who is a corporate lawyer, legal policy maker and disability rights activist and has been blind since birth. Another petitioner, Dipto Ghosh, is a banker at Indian Bank in Siliguri, West Bengal and is totally blind.
The petition has been filed through advocate Rahul Bajaj against Ropan Transport Services Pvt Ltd (Rapido), a mobile application that provides Indian bike taxi and logistics services.
The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways as well as the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPWD), Government of India, have also been listed as respondents.
It was stated that both the petitioners are working persons who frequently book rides through Rapido mobile app for commuting from their homes to workplaces and other places.
Petitioner Amar Jain has to juggle between courts and go to office during the day, while Dipto Ghosh commutes to his office daily. The petition states that for this they will have to depend on the Rapido mobile app, however, the problem of inaccessibility of the application poses a significant hindrance in its use.
It said there have been several incidents where Amar Jain tried to book a ride on the Rapido app but faced a lot of hurdles in doing so.
He tried to take up the matter with the co-founder of Rapido through his NGO and informed him about the issues in the app.
It is also stated that petitioner Dipto Ghosh has also faced an incident in the past where he was denied a ride by the Rapido 'Captain' due to his disability and was insulted for his condition.
Subsequently, a petition was started at that time, but it was later closed after receiving an apology and assurance from Rapido that the ID of the said captain had been suspended.
The petitioners have sought a direction to the Ministry and the DEPWD to direct Rapido to take immediate, effective and comprehensive steps to give effect to the provisions of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, so as to ensure that persons with disabilities rights and access can be protected.
The petitioners have prayed that these steps should include mandating accessibility audits, providing accessibility training for employees, implementing clear and enforceable accessibility standards, and improving the features of the app as suggested earlier, but all this Should not be confined within a strict time frame. One month old.
They have also sought to direct Rapido to immediately conduct a comprehensive accessibility audit of its ride booking mobile app to identify and address all accessibility barriers for persons with disabilities, especially the visually impaired, and ensure that That the issues be rectified immediately within a reasonable time frame. Six months old.
The petitioners have also sought a direction to the Ministry and the DEPWD to require Rapido to collaborate with experts in the field of digital accessibility and to empower its customer care representatives to effectively address accessibility-related concerns and provide timely resolution to customers with disabilities. Provide specialized training to ensure delivery and comprehensive. And the holistic end-to-end access it offers.
He has also sought direction to impose penalty on Rapido under Section 89 of the RPWD Act, 2016 for failing to make its app accessible despite repeated attempts by the petitioners. They have also sought direction to the ministry to give a strong legal mandate and operational guidance for cab aggregators to make their offerings disabled friendly.



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