Cab aggregator Uber has alleged that the officials of Karnataka Transport department have not accepted its documents, to support its claim for a licence to operate as app-based taxi aggregator in the state.
Before offering services, the app-based cab services have to get a license from the transport department, as per the On-Demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rules.
An Uber spokesperson said, “Our executives went to the transport department on Tuesday (June 7) to submit a set of documents to fulfil the conditions laid down in the April 2 rules, but the transport department officials, refused to accept our documents or even acknowledge our document submission. He further asked us to submit it to the Transport Commissioner the following day.”
Uber has confirmed that it sent all the documents via Speed Post, after an official from the RTO department refused to submit the documents the previous day.
Bhavik Rathod, general manager at Uber India, has written a letter complaining about the refusal to Karnataka Transport Commissioner, Ramegowda.
In a letter dated June 7, with Inc42, he said, “We have submitted all the necessary documents as required by the Transport Department to ensure compliance under the Rules with respect to 100 vehicles in order to procure the requisite licence. Further, an inspection of more than 100 vehicles and our operations was also concluded by the concerned inspectors from the Bengaluru (Central) regional transport office at our premises on 24th and 31st May 2016.”
The letter also states that as the Transport officers “refused to accept the documents or even acknowledge” the document submission, Uber is sending the documents via Speed Post.
The officials, according to Additional Transport Commissioner HG Kumar, declined Uber’s papers as they were not in order. “Their agreement with the cab operators had just one signature. Any agreement should contain two signatures, but that was not the case with the documents which Uber submitted,” he said.
An Uber spokesperson, when contacted, sought to clarify that all contracts that it has with drivers are e-contracts, which are admissible in courts of law and have legal validity .
The transport department has informed the court that it will not insist on license from cab operators until further orders from the court.The case is coming up before the court on June 20.
Karnataka is not the only state where Uber is facing flak from authorities. In Gurgaon, the regional transport department has served a notice, today, for plying two-wheeler/bike taxis with white number plates, which violates the Motor Vehicles Act.
Ruchica Tomar, Uber Spokesperson said, “’Uber’s bike sharing product UberMOTO is available in Gurgaon and Ahmedabad. The advent of ride sharing product like uberMOTO will help people move away from vehicle ownership because technology now makes it possible to get a ride at the push of a button. And instead of adding more vehicles on the road, ride sharing can help turn every vehicle into a shared asset improving efficiency of existing vehicles manifold.” However she did not comment about the notice.
The notice, issued by the Secretary, Regional Transport Authority of Gurgaon, said, that in case the notice is not responded to within two days on receipt on the notice, the department will go forward and initiate legal proceedings.
In another development, Uber India, on Wednesday informed a Delhi court that it would contest the challan (notice) issued to Uber chief executive officer Travis Cordell Kalanick for acting as an agent without having requisite licences, reported Livemint.
The Delhi government issued challans to Kalanick, Uber India president Amit Jain and general manager for North India operations Gagan Bhatiya over violation of the Motor Vehicles Act.
The challans were issued under Section 93 of the Motor Vehicles Act that prohibits soliciting or canvassing customers for taxis which do not have state government licenses. A Delhi court issued notices to them to appear before it.
According to a letter dated May 25 to the ministry of finance, the governor of RBI and the enforcement directorate, the Association Radio Taxi (Mega Cabs, Easy Cabs and Meru Cabs) association has said that Ola and Uber’s business models are in “gross violations of the foreign direct investment guidelines on marketplace model of ecommerce services.”