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Bombay HC directs cab aggregators in Maharashtra to apply for licence if they want to continue their operations

The court rebuked aggregators like Ola and Uber for not adhering to guidelines drafted under the Motor Vehicles Act.

The Bombay High Court has directed all cab aggregators such as Ola and Uber operating in Maharashtra to apply for valid aggregator licences by March 16, according to a PTI report. The court lambasted aggregators by noting that the lack of licences is an instance of “complete lawlessness”, the report added. But the bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta, stopped short of banning the functioning of these cabs until they complied with its directions as it did not want to inconvenience commuters. The directions were passed during the hearing of public interest litigation (PIL) filed by an advocate, Savina Crasto, demanding an effective grievance redressal mechanism for Uber customers, the report revealed. Crasto complained that she was dropped in the middle of nowhere when she booked an Uber ride in November 2020. Moreover, the company offered no option to lodge complaints, PTI explained. Cab aggregators are emerging as the go-to option for commuters as cities come out of COVID-19 restrictions and their use is bound to shoot up in the future. The surge in demand has also led to an increase in untoward incidents against women who complain that the app does not do enough to protect its users. A regulatory mechanism may end up offering an additional layer of protection to users, especially women. What did the Bombay High Court observe during the hearing? The hearing, which was held on Monday this week, saw Chief Justice Datta term the present arrangement as “unacceptable” and “in breach of laws”. The…

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I cover several beats such as Crypto, Telecom, and OTT at MediaNama. I can be found loitering at my local theatre when I am off work consuming movies by the dozen.

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