The Telegraph
Friday , February 17 , 2017

Delhi HC orders cop shield for Uber, Ola drivers; tells striking unions to work out deal

New Delhi, Feb. 17 (Agencies): The Delhi high court on Friday directed the police to check the attacks on Uber and Ola drivers plying against the diktat of striking unions who want better conditions and incentives from the app cab companies.

Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw also told the drivers’ unions of Ola and Uber to go for peaceful commercial negotiations instead of agitations.

”Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) or any other officer of equal rank nominated by Commissioner of Police is requested to forthwith ensure that drivers/owners having contract with plaintiffs (Ola and Uber) and wanting to ply are not stopped or blocked from plying and that their vehicles are not damaged,” Justice Endlaw said.

Hundreds of drivers of Uber and Ola went on an indefinite strike on February 10 in Delhi and the National Capital Region to protest against the “low fares” and “lack” of basic amenities.

The striking unions, the judge said, must “get it out of their head” that they can ”extract” something from these companies by agitations as they do with the government, since the companies can simply leave the city.

”You cannot demand anything from plaintiffs except by peaceful commercial negotiations,” the court said, telling the two drivers' unions to change their mindset.

The direction to the police came after Ola and Uber said that willing drivers are being attacked despite the court's orders earlier this week restraining the two drivers' unions from blocking or interfering with their services.

The two unions, Sarvodaya Driver Association of Delhi and Rajdhani Tourist Drivers' Union, denied responsibility for such incidents of violence.

But the court noted that “if not by the defendants (SDAD and Rajdhani), then the incidents are happening at behest of the defendants as no one else would be interested in indulging therein”.

The court said that if the unions were unhappy with the rates fixed by Ola and Uber, then they have other options, like running as black & yellow taxis.

The matter will be heard again on February 28. 

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