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New Karnataka rules ‘against tech’, says Uber India

Uber is yet to be licensed in Bengaluru and is currently operating under a guarantee given to the HC by the state.

An Uber car is seen parked with the driver's lunch left on the dashboard in Venice, California, United States on July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo Uber has stated that policies like higher pricing during periods of heavy demand — which has been currently barred in Bengaluru — would help increase taxi availability for passengers when taxis are not available in any part of the city.

The Karnataka On-demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rules, 2016, which came into force on April 2, 2016, in Bengaluru to regulate the operations of taxi aggregators like Uber and Ola Cabs is “against technology’’ Uber India Technologies Ltd argued in the Karnataka High Court on Friday in the course of a hearing of cases against the new law.

Presenting its argument against the new law Uber India argued that the firm is only a provider of a technology platform to be used by drivers to offer their services to passengers and not a rental taxi provider or an agency in the sense defined by the Motor Vehicles Act.

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The licensing rules which lay down conditions that drivers must know English, specifications for vehicles, penal clauses for misconduct by drivers are not applicable to Uber as a provider of the technology platform, senior counsel for Uber India, Sajjan Poovaya, argued. Uber has stated that policies like higher pricing during periods of heavy demand — which has been currently barred in Bengaluru — would help increase taxi availability for passengers when taxis are not available in any part of the city.

Uber is yet to be licensed in Bengaluru and is currently operating under a guarantee given to the HC by the state that taxi aggregators can operate without the license mandated under the new law until the case in the high court is disposed.

First published on: 09-07-2016 at 03:24 IST
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