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HC reserves order on Ola cabs’ plea

The Delhi high court on Tuesday reserved its order on cab service provider Ola’s plea against a <g data-gr-id="19">single-judge’s</g> direction to strictly enforce transport department’s January 1 directive by which the operation of app-based taxi services was banned in the national Capital.

ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd, which provides app-based taxi services under the brand of Ola, has challenged the single judge’s July 29 order, saying he had overlooked the Supreme Court’s orders on the kind of taxis that can run on city’s roads. The company told a Bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath that the Apex Court had clarified it has not prohibited running of taxis, which are Euro II compliant or follow even better emission standards and that it has not ordered conversion to CNG. The court reserved its order after hearing arguments put forth by all stakeholders.

Ola, represented by senior advocate Sandeep Sethi, argued that the Apex Court had only imposed a restriction with respect to the age of vehicles and not with regard to fuel used by them. He said other taxi organisations, which are not app-based, come under Radio Taxi Scheme and they own the cabs they operate, while Ola does not own the vehicles that run under their brand and only connects the taxis with customers.

The Delhi government, represented by Additional Standing Counsel Naushad Ahmed Khan, said the All India Tourist Permit (AITP) vehicles that operate under Ola brand are meant for tourist destinations and not for point-to-point service in the city. The counsel said <g data-gr-id="26">going</g> to office or restaurant is not tourism and as long as the company provides point-to-point to service inside the city, it would have to submit to their jurisdiction. The Delhi government also said that Ola’s two subsidiaries, Apra and Serendipity, have submitted to its jurisdiction by applying under the Radio Taxi Scheme, which was modified in December last year.
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