Rape inside cab: Delhi High Court slams law enforcers

NEW DELHI: The rape of a woman inside a cab running without the mandatory global positioning system (GPS) fare meter, today came under the scanner of the Delhi High Court which came down heavily on the agencies for not enforcing the law.

A bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal took cognisance of the September 12 incident in which a driver of a black-yellow taxi allegedly offered lift to a woman and then allegedly sexually assaulted her.

Referring to the incident, the bench, also comprising C Hari Shankar, said, “It points out that enforcement agencies, Delhi Police and traffic police are unable to check gross violation of law by taxi drivers in Delhi, resulting in serious crimes including sexual violence against passengers.”

“It needs to be checked,” the bench said and directed the Centre, Delhi government, city police and the transport departments of both the governments to file responses on the non-enforcement of laws and rules, which were being violated by taxi drivers with impunity.

It also ordered that the victim should be provided with immediate legal aid and compensation.

The directions were issued to the authorities which have to respond by September 20.

The court on its own took note of a report in an English daily titled ‘Rape in cab brings back focus on blatant violation of norms’.

The report had said a 30-year-old taxi driver was arrested for allegedly raping a 23-year-old woman at a park near Red Fort on September 12. The woman had alleged that Chunnu Kumar raped her on the pretext of dropping her to a bus stand from where she could go to Ludhiana.

The court, quoting the report, had noted that the practice of operating shared taxis was common around railway stations. The taxi in question did not have a GPS-based fare meter, which has been made mandatory by the transport department but has faced stiff resistance from autorickshaw and taxi unions.

On September 13 too, the court had on its own initiated proceedings after taking note of a media report on the alleged rape of a five-year-old girl in the city and ordered immediate legal aid.