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Delhi High Court provides relief to Ola, Rapido; stays taxi ban order

A division bench of Justices also directed Transport Department to refrain from taking any coercive measures against Rapido and other ride-sharing platforms until a comprehensive policy is formulated

Rapido

Rapido also welcomed the Delhi High Court's order

Peerzada Abrar Bengaluru

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In a major relief for ride-hailing firms Uber, Ola and Rapido, the Delhi High Court on Friday put a stay on government notice banning bike taxi services in Delhi.

A division bench of Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Neena Bansal Krishna also directed the Transport Department to refrain from taking any coercive measures against Rapido and other ride-sharing platforms until a comprehensive policy is formulated.

In February this year, the  Delhi Transport Department asked mobility players such as Uber, Ola and Rapido to stop plying their bike taxi services. The Delhi Transport Department on February 20 issued a public notice and directed such platforms to immediately stop operations to avoid prosecution and penalty. “It has been brought to notice that two-wheelers having non-transport (private) registration mark/numbers are being used to carry passengers on hire, which is a purely commercial operation and a violation of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988,” the transport department had said in the notice.

“We welcome the Hon’ble High Court’s order to give Uber protection from coercive action on bike taxis in Delhi,” said an Uber spokesperson. “This will bring relief to drivers on our platform whose livelihood had been impacted by the ban as also to the hundreds and thousands of riders who choose to ride on Moto for affordability and last mile connectivity. We are committed to serving the city and being the platform of choice for riders and drivers alike.”

Rapido also welcomed the Delhi High Court's order. The firm said the court declared that 'no coercive measures shall be taken against bike taxi operators and its riders by the concerned authorities in the Delhi NCT until the government notifies the necessary regulations to govern bike taxi operations.'

“It is a resounding victory and powerful testament to the immense impact bike taxis have on millions of people in our national capital,” said a Rapido spokesperson. “Bike taxis represent a transformative innovation for a thriving metropolis and a progressive nation like India, addressing the crippling challenges of traffic congestion, unemployment, affordability, last-mile connectivity, and environmental pollution head-on.”

In February, the transport department had also said any violation will result in a fine of Rs 5,000 in the first instance. For the second or subsequent offence, there is imprisonment, which may extend to one year and attract a fine of up to Rs 10,000, besides impounding of the vehicle. “In addition, the driving licence of the driver will be suspended for a minimum period of three years under the direction of the Hon’ble Supreme Court,” the notice said.

The notice also said some digital platforms (Rapido, Ola, Uber), facilitating such operations by offering booking through an app, thereby engaging themselves as an aggregator in contravention of the provision of Section 93. They will be charged a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.

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First Published: May 26 2023 | 10:32 PM IST

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