The Delhi High Court granted some relief to online cab hailing service Uber and set aside the Delhi government’s ban on the service, reports DNA. The Delhi government had banned Uber and other online cab services such as Ola and TaxiForSure after it rejected their applications for a radio taxi licenses last month.
Uber had moved the High Court last week seeking to lift the ban on its services and challenged an order of the city government denying extension of its licence to operate radio cabs in the national capital. The court however told Uber that it is not supposed to ply if it does not have a licence for the same. The court added that Delhi city government has 10 days to set out requirements for Uber to be granted a license and if the company fails to fulfill the stipulations, transport officials can pass a new order prohibiting the company from operating, as indicated by this Wall Street Journal report.
Uber issued the following statement following the court’s verdict:
“We have always had immense faith in the country’s judiciary and welcome the order of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court invalidating the coercive actions against our driver-partners; actions which have affected thousands of drivers and their families in Delhi who are dependent on Uber’s technology for a better livelihood.
We emphasise the need for sector-specific regulation for technology-based aggregators in the country. We are committed to working with the government to develop a regulatory framework that encourages innovation, provides consumers with more choice, drivers with more economic opportunity, while creating a safer transportation environment for everyone.”
Uber and other app-based taxi services were banned in Delhi following the rape of a 27-year old woman by one of the Uber drivers in December, when the Delhi Government considered cancelling the permission of Uber and scrutinizing the permits of all private taxi services. The Delhi transport department had then banned Uber the same month, and later brought them under the radio taxi license. Uber however resumed operations in Delhi in January, after applying for a radio taxi license, which was rejected.
In February, the Delhi government transport department had started a consultation with the Centre to block the IP address of Uber and shut down its operations in the country if it did not get a radio taxi licence to ply.
Lawsuit filed by the rape victim: Earlier this year, Uber had asked a US district court to dismiss thelawsuit filed by the Delhi rape victim for negligence & fraud, saying that it should not be held legally responsible for its driver’s act. The company added that the driver was contracted with its Netherlands-based entity Uber B.V, which doesn’t operate in US and so has no relationship with Uber US.
California Labor Commision ruling: In June, the California Labor Commission said that drivers working for technology platforms like Uber are essentially employees of the company, and not independent contractors. It said that while platforms like Uber may “hold themselves out as nothing more than a neutral technological platform, designed simply to enable drivers and passengers to transact the business of transportation. The reality, however, is that they’re involved in every aspect of the operation. They vet prospective drivers…control the tools the drivers use…monitor the drivers approval rating and and terminate their access to the application if the rating falls below a specific level.”