The Delhi High Court on Wednesday dismissed app-based taxi service Ola’s plea for interim relief, maintaining that an impression has been created that Ola doesn’t intend to comply with any directions of statutory authority.
The HC directed the Delhi government to enforce its ban order issued on January 1 banning radio cab services which are not registered under radio taxi scheme and running on diesel. The order comes after Ola cabs filed a plea before the court. The Delhi government will now impound all commercial taxis running on diesel.
On Tuesday, coming down heavily on Ola for “taking the court for a ride” and “flouting all laws”, the HC said it may uphold the Delhi government’s decision to ban all such services if the companies continued to operate without filing applications for fresh licences.
The court had also emphasised that diesel-based commercial vehicles cannot be allowed to ply in the city under orders issued by the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal to curb pollution levels.
The bench of Justice Manmohan pulled up the counsel for Ola cabs, advocate Khalid Arshad, after he sought more time to argue on the application for interim stay.
“How are you still operating after the (government’s) January 1 order? Where is the stay on that order?” asked the bench, after it was informed that the government had given a hearing to radio cab services in January following the court’s directions.
The bench noted that taxi services had continued to operate even after the Delhi government ban. The court also took note of the “strident stand” taken by Ola cabs owner ANI Technologies that it did not fall within the definition of “radio taxis”.
On January 1, the Delhi government had banned the operation of app-based taxi services till they comply with the guidelines of Radio Taxi Scheme of 2006 which was recently amended.
The government had said that the petition was moved by Ola after its subsidiaries’ applications for licence was denied by transport department as they had not complied with guidelines of Radio Taxi Scheme. It also said that cabs operating under Ola have to run on CNG.