Careem Slapped With Rs50,000 Fine For ‘Faulty Service’ and ‘Mental Agony’ To Customer
Private ride-hailing service Careem has been slapped with a collective fine of Rs50,000 for provision of ‘faulty service’ to a customer and causing of ‘mental agony’ to a customer.
According to a report in Dawn, a consumer court in Karachi found Junaid Iqbal, the chief executive of Careem Pakistan guilty of providing faulty services in violation of Section 13 of the Sindh Consumer Protection Act, 2014.
The judge hearing the case, Javed Ali Korejo, ordered the defendant to deposit a fine of Rs25,000 to the court along with a payment of Rs15,000 to the complainant for mental agony. He further ordered the defendant to pay Rs10,000 as professional fee incurred on the litigation.
The court ordered the defendant to pay the amount within a month or face imprisonment for not less than one month, which may extend to three years, or be fined not less than Rs50,000, or both as per Section 33(2) of the Act.
The complainant, Advocate Mehmood Ahmed Khan, had filed the complaint regarding a ride that he had booked with Careem from Gulistan-i-Jauhar to Saadi Garden on May 26.
Mehmood Khan said he and some female guests and children had booked a ride of Careem with a driver named Mohsin Ahmed Lodhi. He said he had asked the driver to follow his friends who were on a motorcycle. According to the complainant, the driver did not listen to him and went on to drive in a reckless manner.
The complainant also said that the driver became annoyed when he was asked to repeatedly follow the motorcycle riders and dropped the passengers, who were fasting, half-way into the journey.
Mehmood also had also stated in the complaint that the driver had used insulting and vulgar language.
The advocate had lodged an online complaint but received no satisfactory response from the management, and had not even gotten a reply when he served a legal notice to Careem.
The lawyer representing the Careem CEO, Advocate Altamash Faisal Arab, argued that his client was not responsible for any act or omission on the part of drivers since they were independent third-party service providers who used Careem to provide transport customers.
He argued that drivers were responsible for their acts and omissions. The defence counsel also pleaded to the court for dismissal of the complaint for being non-maintainable for hearing without passing any orders.
The judge observed that because 25 percent of the fare for each ride was given to the company and the remaining 75 percent was given to the driver, the company thus fell within the meaning of “service provider” and could not be excluded from the definition of “services” as provided under Section 2(q)(i) of the Sindh Consumer Protection Act, 2014.
Meanwhile, the Careem representative stated that a complaint had not been filed against the driver, and that after an internal investigation, he had been given a warning.