HC seeks NGO’s response to pleas by app-based taxi service providers

The Delhi High Court on Monday sought response of an NGO on the pleas of app-based taxi service providers seeking quashing of summons for allegedly operating taxis without licence and charging excess fare from passengers.

Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva asked NGO Nyaya Bhoomi, on whose plea a trial court here had summoned the cab providers under various provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, to file its reply by September 10.

The High Court also said its interim order staying the proceedings in a criminal complaint lodged before the trial court against the two service providers shall continue till further orders.

The NGO had lodged the complaint against ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd, which runs Ola; Uber India Systems Pvt Ltd and Serendipity Infolabs Pvt Ltd, which runs Taxi For Sure.

The trial court had on July 31 last year summoned them and directed their authorised representatives to appear before it.

In its complaint, the NGO has sought recovery of Rs. 91,000 crore from the two app-based taxi service providers for allegedly overcharging passengers.

Both the companies, in their pleas before the High Court, have contended that the complaint against them was at the behest of a competitor, Magic Sewa.

They have said they were “service providers on an electronic platform facilitating booking of radio cabs/e-cabs, in respect of which there were no provisions framed under the Motor Vehicles [MV] Act”.

Bill introduced

They had also told the High Court that a bill has been introduced in Parliament seeking to regulate the services being provided by them.

While summoning them, the trial court had said a prima facie case of permit violation was made out against the firms for allegedly charging excess fares which is in violation of the provisions of the MV Act.

June 2013 notification

The High Court in August 2016 had directed that after August 22, 2016, taxi aggregators or operators shall not charge fare more than the cap stipulated in the Delhi government’s June 2013 notification.

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