High Court allows OLA to operate in Delhi, gives it a chance for fair hearingAditya Bhushan Dwivedi
On 8th Dec, Delhi government banned Uber from operating in the city limits for flouting norms. Following this ban other cab services were also banned to operate in Delhi. Only six radio cab services were authorized to run their services in the city including namely Meru Cabs, Mega Cabs, Chanson Cabs, Yo Cabs, Air Cabs and Easy Cabs.
As we mentioned in our previous story pertaining to the case,
According to Radio Taxi Scheme, 2006, applicable in Delhi, every radio cab operator is supposed to be a company registered under the Companies Act, 1956, or a society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. Also the licensee company must have adequate parking space for all its fleet and minimum office space of 1000 sq. ft for facilitating the control room with a must of 10 telephone lines. The minimum fleet size per license is 500 motor cabs and the vehicles must be fitted with GPS based tracking devices (people can argue these to be the smartphones) in the fleet. Uber is not considered to be a radio cab operator but an app connecting passengers to available drivers. It’s high time, Government administrative officials sit down to formulate newer set of rules for these emerging services. Uber has been escaping these legal battles on the pretext of it not being a radio cab operator.
On Tuesday Delhi High Court revoked the order of state government which prohibited OLA Cabs from plying in the capital until a license obtained from the transport department. Senior advocate Khalid Arshad filed a petition in the High Court on behalf of Ola cabs seeking to set aside the order of Delhi Government.
Justice Vibhu Bakru who is handling the petition in the Delhi High Court said,
Since the petitioner (OLA) have not been afforded any opportunity of being heard, I deem it appropriate to set aside the impugned order and direct that the petition be considered as a representation by the appropriate authority.
He also added, A final decision be taken within a period of 10 days from today (Tuesday) after affording the petitioner an opportunity of being heard.
Unlike Uber, Ola has a GPS device installed (not operating via phones) in their cabs which is used to keep track of the vehicle's location. Ola has been operating in Delhi since 2012 and have a user base of around 2 Million users in 25 cities across India.
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Anand Subramanian, Director of Marketing Communications - Ola said,
We will continue to work with the government in every city of our operations in establishing suggestive frameworks at large for the industry. We are willing to go over and beyond the prescribed standards in every aspect. We are confident that we will continue to remain the trusted platform of choice for customers looking for personal transportation within their city.
Talking about safety of passengers, he also added,
We have already installed an additional layer of GPS tracking in all cabs that are active on the Ola platform. This is in addition to the phone based GPS device that is already present. We have also initiated thorough background verification checks with the local police authorities including antecedents check for every driver on the platform.
At present Ola is allowed to operate in Delhi until further notice.