Mumbai: Maharashtra on Tuesday informed the Bombay High Court that app-based vehicles like Ola and Uber cannot ply in the city at par with metered cabs. The government defended its decision on the ground that this ‘regulation’ will bring an end to the ‘predatory and monopolistic’ business tactics of the app-based vehicles.
The government’s affidavit was filed before a division bench of Justice Shantanu Kemkar and Justice Girish Kulkarni, through additional government pleader G W Mattoos.
The government has defended the Maharashtra City Taxi Rules, 2017, that has barred the Ola and Uber from plying in the city. According to the app-based vehicles, these new rules compel them to apply for fresh licences that too after shelling out 10 times more amount than that charged on the kaali-peeli cabs. In their affidavit, the government has claimed that Ola and Uber do not want to be under the scanner and also that it charges more than the normal fares, during the peak hours.
The affidavit states, “These petitioners (drivers of Ola and Uber) have challenged the new rules only because they do not wish to be regulated. They want an unfettered playing field to increase their monetary benefits and also to exploit commuters. It is pertinent to note that during peak hours, their fares are almost two or three times more than the normal fare.”
The government has also contended that even though the Ola and Uber are app-based companies, but this does not exempt them from being regulated by the state transport rules. The government has also claimed that the app of the Ola and Uber vehicles is not regulated.