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Uber committing fraud with the life and liberty of its customers: Delhi Transport dept

Says there are no grounds to review the ban

Surabhi Agarwal  |  New Delhi 

In an order dated 1 January, the Delhi transport authority has refused to revoke the ban on Uber, arguing that there are no grounds to review the ban. In a rather strong-worded order, the department has launched a scathing attack on the company and its business model not just in India but also globally.

Some allegations being made against the company include: Uber is committing fraud with the life and liberty of its customers; it masquerades as a technology platform; the company has a penchant for taking on the law of the land wherever it operates; it is neither an 'intermediary' nor an 'aggregator' and this is a mere effort to mask its activities as taxi service provider.

Below is a snapshot of what Uber is up against in the country:

#No one can be allowed to run any operation in any country, having a 'Rule of Law' in place, to run any operation without appropriate authorisation. Evidently, Uber has not adhered to any of the guidelines, starting from registration under the Information Technology Act, 2012 or any Transport Authority for that matter. Wherever, the legislations are strong, Uber has changed its mode of operations and New York city is one such place and therefore, if Uber can abide by the regulations there, what stops them from abiding by the same in India?

# Uber does not take financial responsibility for the harm caused by their action or inactions, as well as including contractual disclaimers that force passengers and drivers to waive and release all claims, even of any and/or criminal office. On one hand they are the face that provides the taxi service,, but clandestinely denies its role through legal backdoor by getting into such agreements with the Transport Provider of which the passenger (consumer) has no inkling of.

# Therefore, the petitioner company is engaged in committing a fraud with the life and liberty of its customers, without their explicit knowledge thereof, as in their advertisements, they claim of providing safe and responsible journey to them.

# The petitioner company is deliberately trying to mislead the Honorable Court by equating themselves with 'Pooch-O' services provided by the Delhi Integrated Multi modal Transit System Ltd. (DIMTS). The commuter is free to approach any auto of his choice and pay the fare as per the meter installed for the purpose to the driver directly, unlike Uber which furnishes the vehicle alongwith the driver and also collects the fare through its App.

# Uber has a penchant for taking on the law of the land wherever it operates, be it Spain/Germany/US and nearer India in Thailand, wherein their services have been banned, as they do not adhere to the law of the land.

# The petitioner company masquerades as a Technology Platform, but is in fact associated directly with the business of providing Taxi Services to its subscribers, plain & simple. The activities of the Petitioner Company are squarely covered under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and rules framed thereunder and they cannot seek cover, as being only a Transport Platform.

# It would be pertinent to mention here that despite the ban orders having been served upon them, they never approached the Transport Department for its revocation, as they were aware of the illegal act having been committed by them.

# The petitioner company does not act merely as an 'go between' their so called transport providers and commuters/passengers only, but it operates the fleet of its so called transport providers through its app and also collects money directly from third party and disburses it later, thus, it is neither an 'intermediary' nor an 'aggregator' in true sense and this is a mere effort to mask their activities as taxi service provider. So the Uber needs to follow the same regulations as a taxi driver/company because they are providing the same services.

# There are no grounds to review the ban imposed.

First Published: Tue, January 06 2015. 11:07 IST
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