In a reprieve to ride sharing app Uber, the Delhi High Court has set aside a Delhi government order that rejected the company’s application to operate in the national capital.
While the court said that Delhi authorities can impose strict conditions to regulate app-based taxi companies, it was in disfavour of a complete ban.
“I don’t know if there should be a complete ban. I have doubts about it. How can you (Delhi government) stall someone like this. You can grant a conditional permission,” the Press Trust of India quoted Justice Manmohan as saying in a news report.
The court also said that since it had on June 11 set aside Delhi government’s June 3 order (by which application for licence of Ola was rejected), Uber India was ‘entitled’ to a similar relief.
The San Francisco-headquartered company had approached the court after Ola was cleared.
However, Uber representatives have been told to appear before the competent transport authority to pursue its application for a license.
In a statement, Gagan Bhatia, GM Delhi, Uber, said: “We have always had immense faith in the country’s judiciary and we welcome the order of the High Court. The ban had affected thousands of drivers and their families in Delhi, who are dependent on Uber’s technology for a better livelihood.”
Bhatia said that the company is committed to work with the government to develop a regulatory framework that encourages innovation, provides consumers with more choice and drivers with more economic opportunity while creating a safer transportation environment for everyone.
Uber was under Delhi government’s scanner from December last year following rape allegations against one of the drivers contracted to the firm. The government went on to ban Uber and Ola from offering service in the state as they do not have licence under Modified Radio Taxi Scheme 2006 of Transport Department of Delhi. However, Uber cabs have been operating in Delhi despite the ban.
Recently, Delhi’s transport authorities started impounding vehicles contracted to Ola and Uber saying the firms were violating ban orders.
Earlier, Uber had came under the RBI scanner over its payment system which automatically debited a user’s credit card after a ride.
Launched in 2009, Uber is one of the most heavily funded online ride sharing companies in the world. The company enables users to request a ride any time using its iOS and Android apps as well as from its mobile site m.uber.com.
Uber started its operations in India in October 2013 and is already present in 11 cities—Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Jaipur, New Delhi, Pune, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Kochi.
Uber is growing at over 40 per cent month-on-month in India. The company is planning to spread its operations into other tier two and tier three cities over the next six months. In line with this strategy, Uber has recently named former Rent.com official Amit Jain as the first president for India operations.