The Delhi High Court has stayed the proceedings in a criminal complaint lodged against app-based taxi service provider Uber for allegedly operating taxis without licence and charging excess fare from passengers. The order by Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva came on Uber’s plea seeking quashing of the complaint and the summons issued to it in the matter by a trial court.
The court also issued notice to the NGO, which had lodged the complaint, and sought its response to the company’s petition by August 20. NGO Nyaya Bhoomi lodged the complaint against both Uber and ANI Technologies, which provides cab services under the name of Ola.
In its complaint, it sought recovery of Rs 91,000 crore from the two app-based taxi service providers for allegedly overcharging passengers. Ola has already moved the high court seeking quashing of the complaint and the summons issued to it by the trial court on July 31, last year.
A similar order was passed by the high court on March 12 on Ola’s plea. Both companies, in their pleas, contended that the complaint against them is at the behest of a competitor, Magic Sewa. They also contended that they are not an agent or canvasser as contended in the complaint against them.
They said that they are “service providers on an electronic platform facilitating booking of radio cabs/e-cabs, in respect of which there are no provisions framed under the Motor Vehicles Act”.
They also told the high court that a bill has been introduced in the Parliament seeking to regulate the services being provided by them.
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.
The trial court in its order had noted that excess fares have been charged by the companies in violation of the MV Act, June 20, 2013 notification as well as city taxi service scheme.
It had also sought recovery of an additional penalty of Rs 26,000 crore from the firms and jail term for them.