Hours after autorickshaw drivers in Pune stayed off the roads as part of a ‘Chakka Jam’ agitation against bike taxis, the Regional Transport Office (RTO) lodged another case against Rapido, the Bangalore-based company providing app-based bike taxi services. This is the second FIR against the company in the last few days.
The FIR was filed even as the autorickshaw driver unions withdrew their strike on Monday night after an assurance from the state government and Pune’s Guardian Minister Chandrakant Patil that the issue of bike taxis will be addressed by December 10.
The latest FIR was lodged late Monday night at Bhosari MIDC police station in Pimpri-Chinchwad.
RTO official Tanaji Dhumal approached the police with a complaint against Roppen Transportation Services Private Limited, which owns Rapido, alleging that the firm operated illegally in its Pimpri-Chinchwad jurisdiction without having any legal rights to do so. The official also claimed that Rapido cheated the citizens by impressing upon them that their service was legal when it was not.
The police have booked Rapido under Section 418 (cheating with the knowledge that wrongful loss may ensue to person whose interest offender is bound to protect) of the Indian Penal Code, sections 66, 93, 192 (A), 146, 193 and 197 of the Motor Vehicles Act and Section 66D of Information Technology Act, 2000.
On November 24, the Pune RTO had lodged a similar complaint against Jagdish Patil, an official with Rapido’s Pune office.
The FIR filed on Monday night seems to have come in response to autorickshaw driver unions’ unhappiness at the Pune RTO lodging a complaint against a “lowly officer” of the firm while the firm and its owners were given a pass.
On Monday, the autorickshaw drivers, who had gathered under the aegis of ‘Bhaghtoy Rickshaw Wala Forum’, had dispersed with a threat to resume the agitation on December 12 if their demand pertaining to a ban on bike taxis was not met.