The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the AAP government to refrain from taking any action against app-based taxi services till a committee that is framing a uniform policy to keep these companies in check submits its report. PTI reported that the court was hearing taxi operator Uber's plea, which sought to cancel government-issued challans against its vehicles.
Delhi High Court Judge Manmohan told the government's counsel present, “Please stay out … as the matter is pending. Trust them. They (taxi players] are following your directions.” The lawyer informed the court that the government had issued oral instructions to its transport department officials to refrain from penalising cab services such as Ola and Uber till the report was submitted, PTI reported.
Uber claimed that several of its taxis were issued challans or confiscated by transport authorities on the grounds that they did not have calibrated meters. The company alleged that these penalties were being doled out by the government under the influence of its competitors. Initially, the government had said the framing of a uniform policy was not reason enough to provide immunity to taxi service providers violating the law.
The court responded saying that exceptions may be made if the violation involved surge-pricing. On August 11, the High Court had set August 22 as the deadline for taxi service providers and operators to start complying with rates decided by the government. The court had ordered a central government-appointed committee to study the issue and consult senior officials from the Ministry of Information Technology, Central Pollution Control Board and Delhi Traffic Police as well as a transport expert from Niti Aayog.