Ola’s parent company ANI Technologies has filed a petition against the state transport department at the Karnataka high court for not providing the company with a licence to operate bike taxis in the state.
Last week the company was fined INR 15 Lakh by the transport department in exchange for lifting a state-wide ban on the company’s operations.
Ola’s troubles began on March 22 when it got banned from running cab operations in Karnataka and its license had been suspended for a period of six months by the state transport department.
This action was taken against the company for allegedly violating the license conditions for operating bike taxis and also violating government rules. However, the ban was lifted within two days on March 24 after the company paid a fine.
Following the incident, Ola has sought directions from the transport department and asked for a regulatory framework for operating of bike taxis. It has also sought a ban on all other bike taxis from state transport department until the permits are issued, reported ET.
In its petition, the company had alleged that the transport department has not taken action against other bike taxi operators while its license was revoked. Citing Karnataka State Transport Commissioner VP Ikkeri, the report said that the department knows about the petition filed the company but cannot reply back as they have not received the notice.
Tussle Between Ola And Karnataka Govt
The Karnataka transport department had declared Uber and Ola’s bike sharing services as “illegal” in 2016. The services were banned from the state.
In line with the ban, the state government had written to Bengaluru-based ride hailing platform Ola and bike taxi startup Rapido in February to stop its bike taxi services immediately.
The tussle between the Karnataka government and the ride hailing companies has persisted for a long time with no signs of a solution. Last year in June, the state government had issued a notice to Ola and Uber against violation of rules for charging the time-based fare. According to the rules, fares are to be charged only on the basis of kilometres travelled.
The revised tariff plans for taxis came into effect in January 2018 in which the state government had fixed fares by classifying them into different categories. In 2017, Karnataka’s transport department had given a three day deadline to both the cab hailing giants Ola and Uber, directing them to stop their cab sharing services.