The Delhi government has initiated legal proceedings against ‘redBus’, an online booking platform, for “issuing” tickets for buses which are running illegally in the national capital. A top official of the transport department said that a case has been registered against ‘redBus’ under provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act and its hearing is going on in a city court. “It is engaged as an agent for the booking of tickets for public service buses and also for soliciting customers for such vehicles. But any agent like redBus cannot issue tickets. The department is further inquiring into the operation of buses at this portal,” the official said.
A spokesperson of the booking portal claimed that ‘redBus’ is merely an “intermediary” and serves as a marketplace that connects bus operators and consumers.
“The bus operators directly bill in the customers and redBus only acts as a technology provider for both,” the spokesperson said.
The transport department has launched a drive and is impounding buses from different places in Delhi that are plying illegally.
“It was found that most of these buses were contract carriage buses which can be booked as a whole. However, the operators were issuing tickets and using the buses as stage carriages, which is gross violation of provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act. The prosecution against Red Bus is part of a special drive,” KK Dahiya, special commissioner of transport department, said.
The company, however, claimed that the bus operators listed on its website provide an undertaking that they have the requisite permits and licences to operate the buses and it is not in redBus’ jurisdiction to physically verify or enforce this.
“We are unsure and have failed to understand why redBus is being singled out and plan to make appropriate representations in the court,” the spokesperson said.