Citizens' Issues
Delhi HC questions allowing sites of app-based cab services

Apart from seizing the cabs, the PIL requests to block sites of companies providing app-based cab services in Delhi 

 

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the city government why websites of app-based cabs cannot be blocked, while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) alleging that these taxi services were operating despite the government banning them.
 
"Why can't it be done (blocking the sites)? You can block the sites. There is a wing of Delhi Police working on that. You get instructions and file an affidavit," a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice RS Endlaw said.
 
The court also issued notice to the Centre, Delhi government and the city police seeking their responses by 25th February, the next date of hearing.
 
The petition by Harkesh Gupta, filed through advocate Rajat Sehgal has contended that the 1st January order (banning app-based cabs) of the government is being violated by various app-based cab services which continue to operate and offer their services through their sites.
 
Delhi government, on the other hand, argued it is taking action against those cabs which were found operating despite the ban by seizing/ impounding them.
 
However, the petition has sought that apart from seizing the cabs, the sites of these companies should also be blocked.
 
The Delhi government had earlier told the court that the ban on app-based taxi services will continue and vehicles violating it will be seized as per its 1st January order.
 
The government had passed its order on a representation by US-based cab service provider Uber, pursuant to high court's 24th December order when it had asked the cab company to approach the transport department.
 
Uber, which works through a mobile app, had challenged the 8th December order of the city government banning Uber and 20 other such companies, including Ola Cabs, from operating in Delhi following the rape of a 27-year-old woman executive on the night of 5th December by a driver of Uber taxi.
 
The 1st January order had also said that since Uber operates diesel/ petrol run vehicles, it is violating the Supreme Court direction that the All India Tourist Permit cabs in Delhi should run on CNG.
 
The department, however, had also said that Uber "may apply (for operating) under the modified Radio Taxi Scheme, 2006".
 
Uber had, on 6th January, withdrew its plea challenging the December order of the government banning it.
 

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Railway employees directly involved in crimes, says report

According to a GRP report, railway employees and vendors are found involved in many of the crimes that take place in trains, and they also have connections with perpetrators of violent crimes 

 

Several Railway officials and workers, including pointsmen and gangmen as well as vendors are involved directly in many of the crimes that take place inside trains, says a report.
 
According to the latest, Government Railway Police (GRP) report, information regarding where and when to find potential targets is often provided to the perpetrators by these employee and vendors.
 
Maithili Sharan Gupta, special DGP, GRP, told the Times of India, railway workers and officials are found involved in many of the crimes that take place in trains, and that they also have connections with perpetrators of violent crimes. 
 
The investigation was sparked after a Railway gangman was found to be involved in the assault and looting of a young woman in a train on 19 December 2014. The accused had thrown the girl off a moving train with an intention to rob all her belongings. The findings of this investigation brought to light the shocking fact that this case was not an exception. In another case that took place in December 2014, a Bhopal Railway Police official had attempted to rape a young woman inside a train. In 2012, A GRP constable was found to be involved in the looting in a temple right outside the Railway Police Station in Indore. 
 
According to the report, officers investigating such crimes will now have to fill out a separate form. They have to provide details regarding officers on duty at the time of crime, exact location of the crime, vendors serving the coach where the crime took place and any ticket checker, coolies or railway police officials who may have entered the coach, in the report. 
 

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COMMENTS

Simple Indian

2 years ago

This has been an open secret for frequent travellers, but there's been an increase in RPF / GRP officials being involved in robberies and vendors stealing belongings of passengers, particularly at night and early morning. But, what has Special DGP, GRP suggested as remedy for such systemic flaws ?

When doctors assume that they know what a patient wants

Doctors often assume that they know what a patient wants; leading them to recommend the treatment, they know best. However, doctors, like all others, are fallible. If this is understood then the question of lawyers coming into the picture does not arise

 

From heart surgery to prostate care, the medical industry knows little about which common treatments really work. The signs are not very encouraging. David Eddy, a former professor of cardiovascular surgery at the Stanford, who left his job and got his PhD in mathematics from Duke’s university, has been struggling to get to the bottom of this uncertainty, without much success though. He has developed a computer model “Archimedesmodel.com” that has given him an insight into our failings in this field. 
 
Nobody seemed to bother about my pleadings in the last 40 years that doctors have been barking up the wrong tree and were taking patients up the garden path to the mirage of omnipotent treatment strategies. Eddy showed that the conventional approach to treating diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure etc. did little to prevent the heart attacks and strokes that are the predicted complications. 
 
“Even today, with a high-tech medical-care system that costs the nation $2 trillion a year (in the US alone), there is little or no evidence that many widely used treatments and procedures actually work better than various cheaper alternatives,” feels David.  He traced one common practice -- preventing women from giving birth vaginally if they had previously had a caesarean -- to the recommendation of one lone doctor.  Eddy liked to cite a figure that only 15% of what doctors did was backed by hard evidence. 
 
Medicine is doing somewhat better in recognizing the problem, but in solving it, unfortunately, no.  Because there are no definitive answers, you are at the whim of where you are and who you talk to. Take cancer for example. If you go to a surgeon, and he'll probably recommend surgery. Go to a radiologist, and the chances are high of getting radiation instead. Doctors often assume that they know what a patient wants; leading them to recommend the treatment they know best. It is really troubling to know that many doctors hold not just a professional interest in which treatment to offer, but a financial one as well.  The conventional wisdom in prostate cancer -- that surgery is the gold standard and the best chance for a cure -- is unsustainable. Strangely enough, however, the choice may not matter very much. There really is no evidence to suggest that one treatment is better than another.
 
As a developed world, westerners always want the best, the most recent technology. We, in India, ape them anyway, thanks to Centuries of dominance. They spend a huge amount developing it, and we get a big increase in supply. "There is a massive amount of spending on things that really don't help patients, and even put them at greater risk. Everyone that's informed on the topic knows it, but it is such a scary thing to discuss that people are not willing to talk about it openly”, wrote one CEO of a large HMO.  
 
The antibiotic resistance is a time bomb, which could burst any moment. A lot of things we absolutely believe in at the moment, based on our intuition, are ultimately absolutely wrong. Large randomized studies did not deliver the goods as expected because we have been treating the human body as bio-medical electromechanical machine like a car engine. Human body is much more complicated and follows totally different rules of the game. We need to think afresh. 
 
So it's no surprise that up to one-third of clinical studies lead to conclusions that are later overturned, according to a paper in JAMA.  With proof about medical outcomes lacking, one possible solution is educating patients about the uncertainties. "The popular version of evidence-based medicine is about proving things," "but it is really about transparency -- being clear about what we know and don't know. 
 
“Medical science, or for that matter, any other science, can never be certain of the future unless the total knowledge of the initial state of the organism is known. Doctors have been predicting the unpredictable all through.  Medical profession is not aware of our inability to predict the future of the human organism under any circumstance with certainty. Uncertainty is the only certainty in human health and disease.  If one has been in practice for a considerable time, one would have noticed that even in trivial illnesses, where one could be sure of a positive outcome, the patient surprisingly could even meet his maker.
 
Let us educate the public that doctors are not capable of predicting the future in any disease set up and, therefore, doctors should have faith and hope even in the most desperate situations. Doctors, like all others, are fallible. If this is understood then the question of lawyers coming into the picture does not arise. Empathetic transparent communication and good record keeping are the best insurance against malpractice suits. 
 
(Professor Dr BM Hegde, a Padma Bhushan awardee in 2010, is an MD, PhD, FRCP (London, Edinburgh, Glasgow & Dublin), FACC and FAMS. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the Science of Healing Outcomes, chairman of the State Health Society's Expert Committee, Govt of Bihar, Patna. He is former Vice Chancellor of Manipal University at Mangalore and former professor for Cardiology of the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, University of London.)
 

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COMMENTS

Balaji

2 years ago

Of course Doctors don't know. They exist only for last 200-300 years. And humans from millians of years.
On same topic Good read book -
"Being Mortal"
http://atulgawande.com/book/being-mortal...

Cheers.
Balaji

Charles Carvalho

2 years ago

This reminds me of what Charlie Munger says - To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail! Doctor, would love some suggestions around the possible short term solutions for this problem. A doctor helpline by Moneylife?! Not to complain but to recommend people to doctors who specialize in holistic care and wellness rather than in prescribing medicines and surgery. In the long term this requires a major jolt from the government which we can all hope and pray for.

MG Warrier

2 years ago

Thank you, Dr Hegde, for the effort to create awareness about the grey areas in healthcare. The gradual disappearance of the concept of Family Doctor in India and the transfer of healthcare responsibilities to machines and specialists are causing avoidable agony to those who approach hospitals for medical attention. As for the bus conductor the passenger is a 'ticket', medical profession and pharmaceutical industry are becoming parasites on the ill-health. Some self-regulation and some amount of sharing and caring from government can reduce the agony. I have tried to cover some aspects of universal healthcare in an article sometime back in Moneylife which has been included in my book "Banking, Reforms & Corruption: Development Issues in 21st Century India"

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