In yet another development in the ongoing clash between online cab aggregator Uber and the Karnataka state government, the company has received more time to comply with the regulations prescribed by the State Transport department.
As per an ET report, a division bench in the Karnataka High Court granted an interim stay on orders that required Uber to acquire a license in accordance with the Karnataka On-demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rule, 2016, to operate its services in the state.
In November 2016, Uber’s request to scuttle the Karnataka On-demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rule, 2016 suffered a setback when the Karnataka High Court upheld the government’s rights and ruled in favour of the State Government.
As per the rules dictated by the State Government, it was mandatory for ride-hailing apps to secure a permit before operating in the state. Uber questioned the government’s authority to frame these rules and took the matter to the court.
In the ruling on November 10, 2016, the court gave a month’s time to comply with rules. However as the month’s deadline (December 10,2016) is approaching, the High Court has issued an interim order that, no course of action will be taken against the cab aggregator until the final decision is taken by the court.
In a hearing, Chief Justice SK Mukherjee issued a stay notice to the state government and the transport department, directing it to file objections on an appeal filed by Uber challenging an earlier order issued by the single-judge bench in November, directing Uber to acquire a licence.
At the time of filing this story, Uber’s response was awaited.
Cab aggregators in India have had a thorny journey this year. In July, the Delhi Autorickshaw Sangh and Delhi Pradesh Taxi Union called for an indefinite strike against app-based taxi services in Delhi. In August, the Delhi High Court issued a notice to Ola and Uber to stop surge pricing and follow government prescribed fares. In October 2016, the Maharashtra government released a draft of Maharashtra City Taxi Rules, 2016. Following this, Uber raised an objection to Maharashtra’s draft rules to regulate ride-hailing apps on three fronts, the proposed restrictions on engine capacity, price tags for permits, and pricing.