Bombay High Court: Use of women-driven cabs at airport can ensure safety

Shruti Sethi

The division bench of Justices V M Kanade and M S Sonak while hearing a petition filed by Stri Shakti Kendra, on 10th December 2013 remarked that encouraging women passengers landing at the airport late at night to use cabs driven by lady drivers could ensure their safety.

Stri Shakti Kendra is a women cab service which operates at the city’s international and domestic airports. They claim that its cabs are not given enough space for parking outside the airports. The petition filed by the company states that despite their service being included in the ‘pre-paid’ category, women drivers do not get passengers as other taxi unions and touts take passengers away.

Senior Counsel Birendra Saraf, appearing for Mumbai International Airport Ltd, said, “We are not in any way against the cab service, but we are providing space in an airport crunched for space and thus we have to take appropriate action accordingly.”

The court on hearing the matter said that “Where there is a will there is a way. We should not only provide an option to the women (of availing cab driven by lady driver) but should encourage such a move.” The court, while adjourning the hearing till December 17, directed the authorities concerned to file replies and said that it would streamline the process and may even consider allowing woman cab service outside railway stations.

Such a response from the Bombay High Court commands applause and encouragement as it can be seen as a much needed step towards a safer city. The government should not let it go unnoticed and should work for establishing such women driven cab services at various public places including railway stations, bus stands, metro stations in other metropolitan cities, specially the crime capital Delhi.