In February 2023, the Delhi Transport Department issued a public notice to ride-hailing aggregators Rapido, Ola and Uber. The notice banned the aggregators from offering any bike-taxi services in the capital city and also warned that riders found violating the rules will be fined up to Rs 10,000 and even face a license suspension of three years minimum. Three months since, the three ride-sharing portals, have now got a stay against the transport department’s notice from the Delhi High Court. Here are the details.
Rapido, Ola and Uber challenged the department’s public notice by filing a written petition against the Delhi Transport Department’s decision. On May 26, the Delhi High Court granted a stay and directed the transport department to not take any coercive steps against the three aggregators and their riders, until the time a policy has been framed on the matter. The decision was granted by HMJ Suresh Kumar Kait and HMJ Neena Bansal Krishna.
Responding to the development, an Uber spokesperson said, “We welcome the Hon’ble High Court’s order to give Uber protection from coercive action on bike taxis in Delhi. This will bring relief to drivers on our platform whose livelihood had been impacted by the ban as also to the hundreds and thousands of riders who choose to ride on Moto for affordability and last mile connectivity. We are committed to serving the city and being the platform of choice for riders and drivers alike.”
Problems started for the aggregators in January 2023, when the Bombay High Court released an order banning bike taxis and rickshaw services in Maharashtra, citing that the companies did not have the required license to offer these services. Rapido had challenged the order in the Supreme Court and asked for relief, however, the SC declined any relief for all such aggregators and ruled that such services needed to be stopped right away. Later the ban was also imposed in Delhi as the transport department ruled that offering bike taxi services on privately registered two-wheelers, was in direct violation of the Motor Vehicle Act,1988.