HC Asks Centre To Respond to Plea to Make Bike Taxi Aggregator RAPIDO Accessible to Persons With Disabilities

The Delhi High Court Thursday sought the Centre’s response on a plea seeking directions to make app-based bike taxi aggregator RAPIDO fully accessible to persons with disabilities.

Justice Subramonium Prasad issued notice to the Union ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities and Roppen Transportation Services Pvt Ltd (RAPIDO) and asked them to file their replies to the petition.

The high court listed the matter for further hearing on December 20.

The court was hearing a petition filed by disability rights activist Amar Jain and visually impaired banker Dipto Ghosh Chaudhary which sought direction to RAPIDO to conduct an immediate accessibility audit, resolve accessibility barriers in a timely manner and ensure comprehensive and holistic end-to-end accessibility.

The plea said the petitioners rely on RAPIDO mobile ride application but it failed to cater to the accessibility needs of disabled individuals.

It said the issue is not limited to RAPIDO app but extends to some cab aggregators who do not have a system in place to accommodate persons with disabilities.

The plea, filed through advocates Rahul Bajaj and Mahoor Ghani, said the case brings to light the failure of the ministry of transport to put in place an appropriate mandate to ensure that all cab aggregators provide functional and digital accessibility of their services to persons with disabilities.

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“Respondent no. 2 (ministry of transport) be directed to put in place a strong legal mandate and operational guidance for cab aggregators to ensure that their services are disabled friendly,” it said.

The plea further said the matter underscores the importance of equal access to digital services for persons with disabilities, highlighting the need for businesses and service providers to prioritise inclusivity and comply with legal mandates aimed at fostering accessibility.

It said the bike taxi aggregator has no programme in place to sensitise its drivers about the needs of persons with disabilities so that they may be suitably addressed.

“Petitioner no. 2 (Ghosh) was denied a ride by a captain (driver) when he learnt that he had a disability and such experiences undermine the dignity of persons with disabilities,” the plea said.

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