HC notice to Delhi government on surge pricing by taxi aggregators

New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice to the city government on a fresh plea against app-based taxi aggregators, including Ola and Uber, for allegedly over-charging and arbitrarily applying surge rates during odd-even scheme.

Justice J.R. Midha asked the government to file a status report as to how it is taking action against the taxi operators who flout the rules as it posted the matter for further hearing on April 25.

“When people are made to suffer, the government cannot wash off its hands and fail to take action,” said the court, also noting that if Ola or Uber are advertising low fares and then charging high fares, then the government must take action against them.

The government must implement its own rules so that the people are not made to suffer by the deeds of the taxi operators, Justice Midha further said.

The Radio Taxi Scheme, 2006 fixes guidelines for operation of taxis but Ola and Uber have claimed in court that they are not governed by it as they are merely aggregators and not individual taxi operators.

Appearing for petitioner, Magic Sewa Pvt Ltd., an operator of radio taxi service, advocate Pranav Sachdeva claimed that operators like Ola and Uber are rampantly flouting the government’s notification fixing the fares of economy taxis at Rs.12.5 per km, and they are actually charging Rs.40 or Rs.50 per km instead in the name of surge pricing.

He said that the Delhi government has completely failed to take any acti on against these operators despite repeated complaints made by the petitioner.

The second phase of odd-even scheme, which started on April 15, will continue till the month-end.

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