The Delhi Transport Department noted that plying bike taxis in Delhi-NCR violated the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988
App-based aggregators would be liable to INR 1 Lakh in penalty if found to be operating in Delhi
The first offence could lead to a fine of INR 5,000, while a second offence could incur a penalty of INR 10,000 and imprisonment of up to one year
Delhi’s transport department has banned aggregators such as Rapido, Uber and Ola from operating bike taxis in the national capital region. The transport department has said that any aggregators violating the order would be liable for a fine of INR 1 Lakh.
In a public order, the Delhi Transport Department noted that plying bike taxis in Delhi-NCR violated the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, as the Act prohibits using two-wheelers for commercial purposes.
The Delhi government has divided the violations into three levels of severity following the bike taxi ban. The first offence could lead to a fine of INR 5,000, while a second offence could incur a penalty of INR 10,000 and imprisonment of up to one year. The driver will also lose their licence for three months.
The government noted that several app-based companies are picturing themselves as aggregators and are violating the act. Following the order, aggregators would be fined INR 1 Lakh if found to be operating in Delhi.
Incidentally, bike taxis are a popular mode of transportation in Delhi due to lower prices, easy manoeuvrability and capacity for last-mile connectivity. However, department officials cited by Indian Express noted that the transport department has to consider the services from a safety point of view.
In Delhi, the transport department grants passenger service vehicle badges to commercial drivers after verification. After the driver is verified, the vehicles receive yellow number plates.
Delhi’s decision also comes as the Supreme Court refused to grant relief to bike taxi aggregator Rapido against the Maharashtra government’s refusal to grant a licence, noting that the amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act in 2019 clarified that aggregators couldn’t operate without a valid licence.
The bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justices PS Narasimha and Justice JB Pardiwala said Rapido could challenge the state government’s January 19 notification which prohibited the use of ‘non-transport vehicle’ from carpooling in the Bombay High Court.
It added that the validity of the RTO’s December order would stand subsumed by the state government’s decision that would follow.
The Delhi bike taxi ban comes after multiple states have barred app-based aggregators from plying vehicles other than cars as taxis. Last year, Karnataka banned these aggregators from operating auto-rickshaws as taxis, and Maharashtra refused to grant Rapido an aggregator licence earlier this year.