Ban on app-based taxi services like Uber will continue: Delhi govt tells HC

The ban on app-based taxi services will continue and vehicles violating it will be seized, the city government on Tuesday submitted in the Delhi High Court here while Uber India Systems Pvt Ltd withdrew its plea against the December order stopping its operations.The Delhi government informed Justice Rajiv Shakdher that as per its fresh order on 1 January, 2015 both Ola and Uber cabs have been banned and any vehicle found operating despite the ban was being seized after Uber claimed that Ola cabs were still available.

<img class=”size-full wp-image-2032995″ src=”” alt=”Representational image. Reuters” width=”380″ height=”285″ />Representational image. Reuters
The government said it had passed the order on a representation filed by Uber pursuant to the high court’s order of 24 December when it had asked the cab company to approach the transport department.

The US-based cab operating service which works through a mobile app had challenged the 8 December order of the city government banning Uber and 20 other such companies, including Ola Cabs, from operating in Delhi following the rape of a 27-year-old woman executive on December 5 night by a driver of Uber taxi.

Senior advocate Rajiv Nayar, who appeared for the cab company, however, today contended that while Uber was complying, Ola was still operating in the national capital.

“They are available despite the ban. Their cars are available in the vicinity of high court right now. Why am I the only one being discriminated against?” he argued.

Taking note of his contention, the court questioned the transport department, “How are they operating? “You have to take action.”

In response, the Deputy Commissioner of Transport Department, who was present in court, submitted that they are taking action by seizing all vehicles which are operating despite the ban.

In its 1 January order on Uber’s representation, the government’s transport department had held that the app-based cab provider is neither an aggregator nor an intermediary as it claims and these are only “efforts to mask its activities”.

The department contended that since Uber collects money and operates a fleet of cabs, it is not an aggregator or intermediary and there is “no need to review the ban imposed”.

The 1 January order had also said that since Uber operates diesel/petrol run vehicles, it is violating the Supreme Court direction that the All India Tourist Permit cabs in Delhi should run on CNG.

The department, however, has also said that Uber “may apply (for operating) under the modified Radio Taxi Scheme, 2006”.

Meanwhile, Uber on Tuesday said it was withdrawing its plea challenging the December order. Meanwhile, an Uber spokesperson has said the company withdrew its plea from the High Court with “the liberty to avail remedies as may be available under law”.

“We continue to have faith in the judicial and executive system, trusting that the interests of Delhi’s riders, and livelihoods of our driver-partners would be central to any decision,” it has said.

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