No immunity to Uber, Ola for violating law: Delhi govt to HC

The AAP government told Delhi High Court that cabs running on Uber and Ola platforms cannot get immunity for violating the law merely because a special panel was working on formulating a uniform policy to regulate such companies.

PTI| Updated: Sep 02, 2016, 19:44 PM IST
No immunity to Uber, Ola for violating law: Delhi govt to HC

New Delhi: The AAP government on Friday told Delhi High Court that cabs running on Uber and Ola platforms cannot get immunity for violating the law merely because a special panel was working on formulating a uniform policy to regulate such companies.

Uber on the other hand contended before Justice Manmohan that several of their cabs were challaned or confiscated merely because they did not have caliberated meters and alleged that the action was being taken by the government at the behest of some of its competitors to "end our business".

The court, however, did not issue any interim direction on Uber's application seeking quashing of the challans of its cabs and restraining the government from taking any coercive steps against it.

The court instead issued notice to the government and sought its response by September 6 on Uber's plea.

It also told Delhi government lawyers that since everyone cooperating and a panel was working on devising a policy, the transport department be asked to wait till the committee comes out with its report.

"If you (government) have waited so long, wait for some more time till the committee comes with a solution in its report," the court said. It, however, added that if there was any violation of the undertaking given by the app-based cab aggregators on surge-pricing, then action has to be taken.

Thereafter, senior standing counsel for Delhi government Rahul Mehra and additional standing counsel Naushad Ahmed told the court the message would be conveyed to the department.

The lawyers, however, said the companies cannot enjoy "blanket immunity" from action.

An Association of Radio Taxis and Delhi government also contended that instead of Uber coming to court, the owners of the challaned or confiscated vehicles ought to have gone to the transport authority against the action taken.

The court on August 11 had set August 22 as the deadline after which taxi aggregators as well as cab operators cannot charge passengers more than the government-fixed rates.

It had also directed a special committee, set up by the Centre to examine all issues related to existing permits given to taxis and cab aggregators, to also include one senior official each from the Ministry of Information Technology, Central Pollution Control Board and Delhi Traffic Police apart from obtaining advise of a transport expert from Niti Aayog.