Karnataka’s transport department has issued notices to the app-based based cab companies Ola and Uber for allegedly violating state rule against charging time-based fares, reports The Times of India. The state had issued fixed fares for cab aggregators early this year and had barred them from charging fares based on the duration of the ride.
Ola and Uber apparently did not implement the rules and are continuing to charge average of Re 1 per minute to the riders.
According to the publication, the state’s transport department has issued notices under Rule 11 (a) of The Karnataka On-demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rules, 2016 (pdf), which gives the authority the power of banning/suspending the licence of companies failing to comply with the rules. The report adds that the notice reads that, “no fare shall be collected on the basis of time…Only fares which will be notified by the government on the basis of [distance] alone shall be levied to the commuters”.
In a statement shared with MediaNama, Ola said, “We have received communication from the state transport department of Karnataka and are studying the contents of the same. We will shortly share the Company’s response with the authority.”
Uber did not respond to a request for comment.
Online cab hailing companies have been accused of over-charging in other parts of India as well. In Delhi, NGO Nyaya Bhoomi has an ongoing petition against both Ola and Uber for overcharging passengers under Motor Vehicles (MV) Act. In March, the Delhi High Court had sought a response from Nyaya Bhoomi, and the next hearing is scheduled in August this year. The NGO had petitioned against both the players seeking recovery of Rs 91,000 crore for allegedly overcharging riders. Uber and Ola are both seeking for the withdrawal of the criminal complaints against them.