The Delhi high court on Wednesday suggested to the city government to do away with the ban on app-based cab service providers, saying they cannot be blamed for illegal acts of the cab drivers, who were given all India permits (AIP) by the authorities concerned.
The high court also told app-based taxi service provider, Ola cabs that it was inclined to allow only CNG-based cabs to provide point to point service in the national capital.
“If AIP was given to wrong person, he (OLA) is not to be blamed. You can’t put burden on him (OLA) if AIP was given to a criminal. The cross has to be borne by police and government,” Justice Manmohan said, and added, “But CNG requirement has to be complied with.”
“If it is point to point in Delhi, the cab has to run on CNG. I am very clear about it. Your competitors run on CNG, so how can you run on diesel? Run on CNG or not at all,” the judge said.
The court suggested to the Delhi government to do away with the ban on such service providers as their technology has been working the world over, is well-recognised and is a “boon for consumers”, and to hear them afresh on their plea to allow them to ply.
While appreciating app-based cabs services’ benefits, like presence of GPS for tracking purposes, reduction in number of private vehicles due to faster and cheaper availability of such taxis and their employment potential, the court said vehicles plying under this technology have to run on CNG.
“Prima facie I am not going to allow diesel vehicles to run in Delhi through this methodology (of app-based cab service). You see pollution levels are on rise in the city,” it said.
The court was hearing a plea of ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd, which provides service under OLA brand, that it is not amenable to the Delhi government’s recently modified Radio Taxi Scheme as cabs under it already have AIPs.
The company, which claims to be a taxi aggregator, has said since cabs under it have AIPs, they do not need to get additional permission to ply in Delhi.