Questioning the ban on certain app-based cab services in the city, the Delhi High Court Wednesday set aside an order of the city government, by which Uber’s application for licence to ply in the national capital was rejected, and asked the transport department to impose conditions on the company to operate.
“I don’t know if there should be a complete ban. I have doubts about it. How can you (Delhi government) stall someone like this. You can grant a conditional permission,” Justice Manmohan said.
The court also said since the High Court on June 11 had set aside Delhi government’s June 3 order, by which application for licence of two other app-based taxi services – Apra Cabs India Pvt Ltd and Serendipity Infolabs Pvt Ltd (Taxi for Sure) – were rejected,Uber India Technology Pvt Ltd was “entitled” to a similar relief.
It said as Delhi government has not challenged the June 11 order, it cannot “discriminate” against Uber, when relief has been given to Apra and Serendipity.
The court gave Delhi government the liberty to write to Uber, within ten days, informing the company about the “requirements it has to satisfy”.
“If the GNCTD (Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi) is not satisfied with the response, it will give the petitioner (Uber) one opportunity to further be heard and give clarification. A decision will thereafter be taken on the application made by petitioner and communicated to them not later than four weeks thereafter,” it said and disposed of Uber’s plea challenging the June 3 order.
Reacting to Wednesday’s High Court order, Gagan Bhatia, GM Delhi, Uber, said, “We have always had immense faith in the country’s judiciary and welcome the order of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court invalidating the coercive actions against our driver-partners; actions which have affected thousands of drivers and their families in Delhi who are dependent on Uber’s technology for a better livelihood.”
The court also told the Transport Department of Delhi government to impose any condition on Uber, in accordance with the law if it was inclined to grant licence to the company and told the app-based cab service provider that it will have to comply with the conditions.
The Delhi government had cancelled the licence application of Uber for not complying with the provisions of the recently amended Radio Taxi Scheme of 2006.
The amendment was introduced after certain app-based cab companies were banned in the capital following an Uber cab driver allegedly raping a finance executive in December last year.
The modified scheme imposes various mandatory requirements, including having prefixed calibrated meters, a GPS device and running on CNG, on the companies for grant of licence.