Delhi High Court today directed the AAP government not to take any action against app-based cab providers like Uber and Ola till a special panel, formulating a uniform policy to regulate such companies, comes out with its report.
“Please stay out … till the matter is pending. Trust them. They (cab players) are following your directions,” Justice Manmohan told the lawyer appearing for the government.
Delhi government’s counsel told the court that transport department officials have been orally instructed not to take action against these cabs till the matter is pending.
The court was hearing Uber’s application seeking quashing of the challans of its cabs and restraining the government from taking any coercive step against it.
When the court was informed that these companies have not been given protection against government action, the bench said, “He (government’s counsel) is saying no action will be taken till the matter is pending.”
The government had earlier told the court that these cab firms cannot get immunity for violating the law merely because a special panel was working on formulating a uniform policy.
However, Uber had contended that several of their cabs were challaned or confiscated merely because they did not have calibrated meters and alleged that the action was being taken by the government at the behest of some of its competitors.
The court had told Delhi government lawyers that since “everyone is cooperating” and a panel was working on devising a policy, the transport department be asked to wait till the committee comes out with its report.
It, however, had said that if there was any violation of the undertaking given by the app-based cab aggregators on surge-pricing, then action has to be taken.
The court on August 11 had set August 22 as the deadline after which taxi aggregators as well as cab operators cannot charge passengers more than the government-fixed rates.
It had also directed a special committee, set up by the Centre to examine all issues relating to existing permits given to taxis and cab aggregators, to also include a senior official each from Ministry of Information Technology, Central Pollution Control Board and Delhi Traffic Police apart from obtaining advise of a transport expert from Niti Aayog.