THE BOMBAY High Court was Friday informed by the state government that it will not take any coercive step against app-based cab services Uber and Ola over the new City Taxi Rules, at least till a report by a committee appointed to look into fare fixation has been received.
A division bench of Justice RM Sawant and Justice Sadhana Jadhav was hearing petitions filed by Uber India Ltd, Ola Ltd. and others challenging the Maharashtra government’s City Taxi Rules, 2017.
The petitioners have claimed that the rules are arbitrary and if accepted, would put them out of business. They have submitted that under the new rules, app-based taxi services will be able to ply within the Mumbai Metropolitan Region only on obtaining local permits, which, they claim, will cost drivers and owners “ten times more” than the cost incurred by black-and-yellow taxis.
The court accepted the state government’s statement on the committee report and observed that the services of Uber were provided worldwide.
“This is a serious issue considering the interest of the consumers. The state government will have to keep this in mind before taking any final decision,” the bench said.
Justice Jadhav said the rules would affect taxpayers and that public interest also had to be considered. The petitions have now been posted for hearing on August 3, with the state government stating it will file its reply affidavit.
“The Honorable Bombay High Court has directed today that no coercive action will be taken for the next four weeks against driver partners on app-based platforms. We are committed to continue engaging with the government and other stakeholders on the matter and find solutions that can help keep drivers, riders and the city moving,” said a statement sent by Uber India.