Law needed to regulate app-based cabs: HC


The Delhi High Court said there is need for a “good” and “model” law for regulating app-based cab services, like Ola and Uber, as it will be helpful to the people and would bring in more clarity.

Justice Manmohan said he would set up a panel comprising two senior officials each from the Delhi government and the Centre and one expert who can then hear all the stakeholders, including app-based cab services, radio taxis and consumers, and then come out with a model law.

“I find that this cab business is a great field for litigation. All of them are working at cross purposes. So I think we need a good law. It will facilitate consumers and there will be clarity,” the court said.

It asked both the governments to come with the names of officials to be appointed in the panel and listed the matter for hearing on 11 August.

The court said that till the panel comes out with its “model law”, the app-based cab companies will have to abide by the rates stipulated by the Delhi government.

It noted that ANI Technologies, which runs Ola, has filed an affidavit, saying it no longer charges customers more than the stipulated rate and told Uber, “You will not charge more than what has been stipulated by the government.”

The oral direction to Uber came after the company said that only in 3-4 per cent of the cases does it exceed the stipulated rate and that often its rates are half of it.

It said that if it has to abide by the stipulated rates, then let other such companies match their low rates.

To this, the judge said that Uber can charge low rates or give their services for free, but it cannot exceed the cap fixed by the government.

According to the prescribed rates, fare for Economy Radio Taxi is Rs 12.50 per km, while it is Rs 14 per km for non-AC black and yellow top taxi and Rs 16 per km for AC black and yellow top taxi.

The notified fare of Radio Taxi cabs (distinguished by an LCD board on roof top displaying ‘Radio Taxi’) is Rs 23 per km. Additional night charges (25 percent of the fare) are applicable between 11 PM and 5 AM.

The court was hearing a number of petitions filed by an association of radio taxi operators and Ola.

While the association has alleged that Ola and Uber are operating without any licence, overcharging customers and the government is not doing anything about it, Ola has accused Uber of over-charging and not complying with court orders.