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Comply with Motor Vehicles Aggregators Guidelines: Bombay HC tells Ola, Uber

The court said that if any required attention is to be devoted by the central and state governments, the same has to be pointed out to the state government.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: April 5, 2022 2:52:04 pm
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Makarand S Karnik was hearing a PIL filed by city-based advocate Savina Crasto, who had raised grievances regarding the “complex and ineffective” redressal mechanism provided by an app-based cab aggregator. (File)

The Bombay High Court Tuesday directed the cab aggregators, including Uber India and Ola, who have been granted provisional licenses under the Motor Vehicles Aggregators Guidelines, 2020 framed by the Union government, to strictly comply with the conditions laid down in the guidelines.

The court also said that the Maharashtra government is expected to consider the experiences and the nature of complaints that are lodged with the aggregators with the applications formulated by the aggregators for the purpose of finding deficiency if at all in the system.

“The deficiencies will be addressed in a time-bound manner. The state is at liberty to give suggestions to implement guidelines for implementing conditions. The mechanism will have to be consumer-friendly,” the court noted.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Makarand S Karnik was hearing a PIL filed by city-based advocate Savina Crasto, who had raised grievances regarding the “complex and ineffective” redressal mechanism provided by an app-based cab aggregator.

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The court said that if any required attention is to be devoted by the central and state governments, the same has to be pointed out to the state government. The court told the petitioner that anything in the interest of passengers can be put out on the affidavit which it will consider during the next hearing on June 20.

The state government gave a compliance report of the March 7 order, which directed the cab aggregators to apply for the license to ply cabs under the 2020 guidelines, by March 16.

The court had asked the state authorities to decide the application within 15 days from the date of receipt. The bench had said that the Centre’s rules will be applicable till the Maharashtra Regulation of Aggregator Rules, 2021, which is pending approval, comes into effect.

The Maharashtra government informed the court that cab aggregators Uber and Ola were granted provisional license to ply cabs in Mumbai under the 2020 guidelines.

The state also said that 11 Regional Transport Authorities (RTAs) received applications and out of 29 such applications, 12 were allowed and granted licenses while 17 are under consideration or scrutiny.

Petitioner Crasto argued that while the state has filed a compliance report, it does not mention about the grievance mechanism. She added that the state has not also clarified about how it is going to proceed with formulating its own guidelines and as to how it is going to check whether the aggregators comply with conditions as per 2020 central guidelines.

Senior Advocate Janak Dwarkadas representing Uber submitted that an emergency number is provided by his client and grievance redressal mechanism is made available.

“We do not like to fall behind, we do not want Ola to have better business than Uber. That is not good for our business. There is a service available of the same nature. If the state says there is something about a complaint mechanism that my client must incorporate, then we will incorporate the same,” Dwarkadas argued.

The lawyer representing the Central government said that it cannot issue guidelines for the grievance mechanism of a specific aggregator as the riders may have grievances which are not classified by the company.

The court said that it was not disposing of the matter and asked Crasto to find out deficiencies, if any, and file an affidavit about the same, which will be considered after two months.

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