SC halts operation of bike-taxi aggregators Rapido, Uber in Delhi until policy is implemented

12 June, 2023 | Anupam Shrivastava

Bike-Taxi Top News

Decision comes after High Court's ruling of suspending the Delhi Transport Department's decision to ban operating bike-taxi aggregators in national capital was challenged by Delhi government in SC.

The Delhi High Court’s ruling delaying the city government’s notice to bike-taxi aggregators Rapido and Uber and allowing them to continue operating without aggregator licences until the final policy has been announced was suspended by the Supreme Court on Monday.

The activities of these bike-taxis were halted by a vacationing bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Rajesh Bindal till the Delhi government issued regulations controlling them.

The bench stated that a total stay by the High Court on the notification that forbade their operation was unjustified considering the fact that the Delhi government was developing a strategy for giving licences to bike-taxi aggregators.

It requested that the High Court to quickly hear the ongoing case in which bike-taxi aggregators are contesting the notification. Additionally, it granted parties the freedom to ask the High Court for an early hearing.

“In these facts and circumstances, a wholesale stay of the notification was unwarranted. We stay both the impugned orders. High Court directed to hear the matter expeditiously, and parties were given the liberty to file an early hearing application. Present proceedings disposed of,” said the SC court bench hearing the case.

Before the Supreme Court, the Delhi government argued that the aggregators were using two-wheelers without the requisite permissions or licences, in violation of Section 93 of the Motor Vehicles Act, and that there should be a policy prohibiting the use of non-transportation two-wheelers as taxis.

It further informed the supreme court that the licencing regime will be effective by July 31, 2023, with the policy for licencing already in place.

The High Court’s temporary ruling of May 26 suspending the Delhi Transport Department’s notification to ban operating bike-taxi aggregators through ride-sharing platforms in the nation’s capital has been challenged by the Delhi government in the Supreme Court.

The respondents Uber and Rapido continue to use non-transportation vehicles, including two-wheelers, for the purpose of aggregation and ride-pooling, which is prohibited under the Motor Vehicles Act read with the Motor Vehicle Aggregator Guidelines 2020 without obtaining valid permits, according to the Delhi government, which has requested a hearing.

SC decision as Delhi bike-taxi Aggregator Scheme awaits permission from authorities

The Delhi Motor Vehicle Aggregator Scheme, 2023, according to the government, has already been created by the State and is currently awaiting permission from the competent authority.

“The respondents are required to get themselves registered and apply for permits after complying with the conditions laid down therein upon its notification and only thereafter, the Respondents can be allowed to continue their business operations in accordance with law”, the state government has stated.

Rapido and Uber’s use of bike-taxi is not authorised for a number of reasons, according to the State government, including the need to comply with police verification requirements, GPS device installation requirements, and passenger safety requirements such as putting emergency buttons.