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Delhi High Court States No Coercive Measures Should be Taken Against Bike Taxi Operators

CIO Insider Team | Saturday, 27 May, 2023
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The Delhi High Court ruled that until the government issues the necessary regulations to regulate bike taxi operations, no coercive measures shall be taken against bike taxi operators and their customers in the Delhi NCT. This decision is a significant relief for bike aggregators like Uber and Rapido.

According to Rapido's attorney Abhishek Awasthi, senior partner at the legal firm AZB and Partners, the court ordered that no coercive measures shall be implemented by the local authorities against Rapido bike-taxi and its passengers until the necessary regulation to control the operation of bike-taxis is notified.

The court also granted protection from coercive action for operating bike taxis in Delhi in a similar judgment after receiving a petition from Uber.

Today's hearing involved Uber's writ case challenging Delhi's show-cause order prohibiting the usage of bike taxis. Uber has been granted immunity from any coercive action by the State Transport Department against bike taxis till an aggregator policy pertaining to bike taxis is created, per a verbal ruling from the Hon'ble Delhi High Court. The order, which was given today on May 26, 2023 by HMJ Suresh Kumar Kait and HMJ Neena Bansal Krishna, states that "no coercive measures shall be taken against bike taxi operators and its riders by the concerned authorities in the Delhi NCT until the government notifies the necessary regulations to govern bike taxi operations."

"The direction issued by the transport department under the impugned notice is ex-facie arbitrary and passed without following due process under law, without providing any reasons for such prohibition," the plea says.

Rapido also challenged a show-cause granted to it in this case earlier this year, claiming that it violated a number of fundamental and constitutional rights and had been decided against the rules of natural justice.

The Motor Vehicles Act of 1988 will be considered violated if passengers are transported on private bikes in Delhi for hire or on a commercial basis.

A notice in this regard has been released by the Delhi government's transport department. According to the notice, a punishment of 5,000 can be imposed for a first offense, and a fine of 10,000 and up to a year in jail can be imposed for a second offense. Additionally, the motorist may lose his license for three months under these instances.

"The direction issued by the transport department under the impugned notice is ex-facie arbitrary and passed without following due process under law, without providing any reasons for such prohibition," the plea says.

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