New Delhi: A Delhi court has come down heavily on a taxi union at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here saying it cannot be permitted to monopolise services or harass taxi pliers.
"Defendant No.1 (Delhi Airports Taxi Union) is not a statutory body. It is merely a union of the taxi operators at the airport. The defendants cannot be permitted to monopolise the taxi services at the airport, both domestic and? international terminals," additional district judge Vinod Yadav said.
"They have no authorisation to harass or impose unreasonable conditions upon the taxi pliers," he added.
The judge passed the order while dismissing an appeal moved by the union, its president and secretary challenging a trial court order restraining them from obstructing one Sanjay Bhardwaj from plying his taxi from and to Terminal-1 of the airport.
Bhardwaj had initiated a suit alleging the union was not allowing him to ply his taxi and its secretary had demanded illegal gratification for letting him do so.
He had also alleged that the officebearers had lodged false cases against him to obstruct his work and the police were acting in connivance with them.
The Delhi Airport Taxi Union and its officebearers in their appeal said they do not have any objection if Bhardwaj plies his taxi in the general lane but he wants to use the lane meant for pre-paid taxis, which cannot be permitted without approval from GMR Delhi International Airports Pvt Ltd (DIAL).
The court said it "did not find any force in the argument for the simple reason that no material has been placed on record before the court as to whether there is a requirement for a taxi driver to obtain permission from DIAL before plying his vehicle at the airport."
The union members also denied demanding bribe and argued that the IGI airport is a sensitive area and no person, whose credentials have not been verified by the union can be permitted to ply his taxi there.
The judge said, "It is the admitted case of parties that the booth for regulation of pre-paid taxis is maintained by Delhi Police and the Delhi Police does not have any regulation to deny a taxi driver access to pre-paid taxi lane in case, the taxi and taxi driver fulfils all statutory requirements prescribed under the rules."
The judge also rejected as an "after thought" their arguments that the trial court did not consider its rules for pre-paid/ easy cabs and its order grants a blanket stay in favour of Bhardwaj which would trigger a chain reaction from other taxi operators and the airport would be flooded with new entrants and create traffic chaos.