Q4. If Uber or Uber Taxi is illegal, does the media broadcasting its advertisement to recruit drivers commit any offence?
A media broadcasting the advertisement to recruit drivers may constitute incitement to commit an offence, i.e., to inciting or inviting any person to become an Uber driver to suffer or permit a motor vehicle to be driven or used for the carriage of passengers for hire or reward. This is because the practical effect of allowing an advertisement to be published is to incite or invite any person to become an Uber driver, which is illegal.
However, the prosecution may still have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the media intends to incite any person to become an Uber driver. Recklessness is not the requisite mens rea for incitement. The inciter must intend the other person to commit the substantive offence.
If it must be proved that the media by the act of broadcasting intended to incite any person to become an Uber driver, evidence to that effect must be adduced.
If the media has not read the advertisement before the publication, it could not be said that the media intends to incite any person to become an Uber driver.
Thus, it depends on the statement of the mind of the media at the time of the publication of the advertisement.