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Delhi HC passes stay order on proceedings against Uber

In a relief to Uber, The Delhi High Court has passed a stay order till next hearing on the proceedings on criminal complaint against that the cab company. The order put a pause on summons issued in the matter by a trial court. Uber had reportedly filed a plea for quashing the criminal charges against it.

The proceedings were going on the petition filed by NGO Nyaya Bhoomi against Ola and Uber for overcharging under Motor Vehicles (MV) Act.  The NGO had petitioned against both the players for recovery of Rs 91,000 crore for allegedly overcharging the riders. Ola already filed a plea earlier for withdrawing the criminal complaints against it. In its plea, Ola had reportedly claimed the Delhi government does not have a scheme to regulate app-based cab services. In March, Delhi High Court had sought a response from an NGO Nyaya Bhoomi, and the next hearing is scheduled in August this year.

In its order pertaining to Uber, Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said that Uber is a service provider on an electronic platform facilitating the booking of taxis, and that there are no provisions under the MV Act, which means the Delhi government apparently does not have a scheme to regulate app-based cab services. HC added that bills to regulate app-based cab companies are still pending.

The HC also said, “it is contended that the entire complaint is at behest of a competitor”. In 2016, Rakesh Agarwal, CEO of Magic Sewa, an online aggregator of cabs in Delhi-NCR had filed a petition against app-based cab aggregators including Uber for ‘unlawful practices (surge pricing etc.)’ Read more on Agarwal’s petition here.

App-based Cabs Fare

Ever since the app-based cab aggregators have started scaling in the country, they have been surrounded with fare related scrutiny. Delhi government has been looking at capping surge pricing for online cab aggregators, and at the time of this report state transport minister Kailash Gahlot had said that the cap will be included the in the City Taxi Scheme 2017, which is awaited currently.

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Most recently, Karnataka government notified minimum and maximum fares for taxis operated by aggregators like Ola, Uber, and others. And, the new pricing structure also allows cab aggregators to legally exercise dynamic or surge pricing as the Transport department has set minimum and maximum fare limits. Before that, The Maharashtra government told Bombay high court that it will be deciding to fix both minimum and maximum fares for app-based taxi companies such as Ola and Uber.

Update: We have changed the story from dismissing the criminal complaint to stay order on the summons. We regret the factual error in the earlier version of this post.

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