The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to pass any interim relief on a plea filed by Telugu Desam Party supremo and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu
The Supreme Court on Friday sought Centre’s stand on Delhi government’s plea challenging Delhi High Court’s order staying notice to bike-taxi aggregator Rapido and Uber and allowing them to operate two-wheel services till the notification of the final policy relating to their operations by the State government.
Posting the matter for hearing on June 12, a vacation bench of Justice Aniruddha Bose and Justice Rajesh Bindal asked the Delhi government to serve the copy of its petition to Solicitor General Tushar Mehta so that the stand of the Central government can be obtained.
“Let copy of petitions be served upon the Solicitor General so that the stand of the Union of India can be obtained. List the matter on Monday (June 12),” the vacation bench said in its order.
In the course of the hearing, the vacation bench asked the Delhi government if it has started a licensing regime for the aggregators and how long will it take? The lawyer appearing for Delhi government said that it has already been posted for inviting suggestions/objections and it will take a month’s time before it is notified.
The Delhi government has challenged the High Court’s May 26 interim order staying the Delhi Transport Department’s notification to stop plying bike-taxi aggregator through ride-sharing platforms in the national capital.
Projecting the great benefits that were accruing to the public travelling across the city, the lawyer appearing for the aggregator argued that Uber does not own the vehicles, they are owned by individuals and the service is a great facilitator across the world. The service is being operated since 2019. They referred to Centre’s 2004 guidelines under which three wheelers and four wheel vehicles were being operated by different aggregators.
At this Justice Bose asked, “Under which provision of the Motor Vehicle Act, they are operating these services”.
Questioning the High Court order by which both Uber and Rapido are continuing the use of non-transport vehicles including two-wheelers for the purpose of aggregation and ride pooling, Delhi government has said that it is impermissible under the Motor Vehicles Act read with the Motor Vehicle Aggregator Guidelines 2020 without obtaining valid permits.
Besides other reasons, the Delhi government has said that plying the bike taxis by Rapido and Uber cannot be permitted without complying with the requirements including police verification, obligations of installing GPS devices, panic buttons, to ensure road safety and the safety of the passengers.
“The respondents are required to get themselves registered and apply for permits after complying with the conditions laid down therein upon its notification and only thereafter, the Respondents can be allowed to continue their business operations in accordance with law”, Delhi government has said.