Delhi court says Ola, Uber may have overcharged, summons them for ‘violations’
The compliant filed by an NGO seeks recovery of Rs 91,000 from cab service providers for not adhering to rules under Motor Vehicles Act.delhi Updated: Jul 31, 2017 23:39 IST
A Delhi court on Monday issued summons to app-based cab service providers, including Ola and Uber, on allegations of overcharging passengers and running taxis in the city without licence.
The court said that prima facie a case of permit violation was made out against the firms for allegedly charging excess fares which is in contradiction with the provisions of the Motor Vehicles (MV) Act.
Metropolitan Magistrate Abhilash Malhotra summoned ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd which runs Ola, Uber India Systems Pvt Ltd and Serendipity Infolabs Pvt Ltd which runs ‘Taxi For Sure’ and directed their authorised representatives to appear before it on December 11.
The court order came on a complaint filed by NGO Nyayabhoomi, which has sought prosecution of the three firms under various provisions of the MV Act.
The court said that Section 93(1) (I) of the MV Act mandates that an agent who solicits the customers for public service vehicles (PSV) is required to obtain a licence under the Act. It noted that the firms are running the public service vehicles on contract carriage basis.
“The respondents (firms) are acting as an aggregator who are deciding the drivers, customer allocation, fares, SOS protocols and other administrative issues. It is alleged that no licence under the Section 93 of MV Act has been obtained by the respondents for running the public service vehicles in Delhi which is in violation of City Taxi Scheme, 2015 and section 93 of MV Act,” said the court.
The court observed that the NGO has placed on record documents, claiming that the firms are overpricing the fares.
The court noted that the fares have been decided by transport department of Delhi government in a notification dated June 20, 2013. It prescribes the minimum fare per kilometre, night charges, waiting charges and flag down charges.
The Delhi High Court, in its order dated August 11, 2016 in which the firms were also parties, had directed that after August 22, 2016, taxi aggregators/operators shall not charge fare more than the cap stipulated in the government’s notification dated June 20, 2013.
“Prima facie, it is clear that excess fares have been charged by the respondent companies in violation of Motor Vehicles (MV) Act notification dated June 20, 2013 as well as City Taxi Scheme (CTS),” the court said.
“Accordingly, prima facie case for permit violation under section 192A of MV Act is made out,” the court said.
The court further noted that clauses of the CTS mandate that the driver of taxi shall have public service vehicle badge. It also mandates that all taxis shall have electronic digital fare meter on front panel.
The NGO in its complaint has alleged that none of these firms are ensuring that the drivers are having PSV badges. It was alleged that the digital fare meter is not working and the fare is calculated through the app.
“It is submitted that during the transit, the customer/user is not able to check/ascertain the fare and the fare is calculated and informed via app to the customer only on conclusion of the journey. The complainant has also placed on record details of diesel taxis still on rolls of respondent companies,” the court observed while issuing the summons.