The state government Tuesday submitted a report prepared by an expert committee for fare fixation of app-based taxi service providers before the Bombay High Court and has informed the court that the government will now consider the recommendations made in the report. Additional government pleader G W Mattos informed a division bench headed by Justice S M Kemkar that the committee appointed by the government has submitted an exhaustive report with several recommendations and the government will take an appropriate decision on it.
The bench was hearing petitions filed by Uber India Ltd, Ola Ltd and six drivers plying cabs with these two companies challenging the Maharashtra City Taxi Rules implemented by the state government this year. The court has posted the petitions for further hearing after eight weeks and said the government’s statement that until further orders no coercive action would be taken against the drivers of Uber and Ola should continue.
The petitions said the Rules were arbitrary and bad in law. “According to the Rules, app-based taxis will not be allowed to ply within Mumbai Metropolitan Region on a national tourist permit. The drivers will have to obtain local permits and will not be allowed to ply on their national tourist permits,” the drivers had said in their petition.
Meanwhile, the government in its affidavit had said it was pertinent to regulate the operations of mobile application-based cab operators such as Ola, and Uber in order to foil their “predatory,” “monopolistic,” and “exploitative” business tactics. It had further added that the implementation of its new rules was crucial to bring about a level playing field for all cab operators in the city, and to ensure better services to the commuters.