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Uber withdraws plea from Delhi HC against its ban

Uber, an US taxi hailing service, has withdrawn a plea filed in the Delhi High Court appealing against its ban by the Delhi government on December 8. According to preliminary reports, the company’s lawyer told the Court that Uber is exploring other remedies available to it under the law.

In its order passed on January 1, the Delhi transport authority, which is acting as a quasi-judicial body, had said that “there are no grounds to review the ban imposed” on the company along with its domestic counterpart Ola Cabs.

Both the companies were found to be violating the Motor Vehicle Act since they were plying vehicles with All India Tourist permits within the national capital region. They were allegedly also flouting several other rules such as running petrol and diesel taxis in Delhi where all public transport has to run on clean fuel (compressed natural gas) as per a diktat from the Supreme Court.  After Delhi transport authorities’ order, the matter was supposed to be heard in the Delhi High Court today.

The detailed reasons behind the company’s move to withdraw the plea are still not clear. Uber could not be immediately reached for a comment.

App-based taxi companies, including Uber and Ola Cabs, were banned from operating in Delhi on December 8, 2014 after a taxi driver on Uber’s network allegedly raped a 27-year-old finance executive. Uber and Ola had approached the Delhi High Court requesting quashing of the ban orders. The court had directed the Transport Authority to hear the petition and pass an order. While Ola had managed to receive a stay on the ban order, Uber was directed to appear before the transport department.

In its order against Uber, the authority stated: “…they (Uber) provide a simple taxi service by transporting people from one point to another through a vehicle driven by a driver for a fee, which is collected by the petitioner company directly from the passenger. They are thus, a taxi, pure and simple, since they connect a passenger with a taxi, through a smart based App, is no different from connecting one through simple telephone or mobile or Radio. Hence, being a taxi service provider they are required to follow the law of the land and by using an AITP (All India Tourist Permit) taxi for local point to point drop, as in the present case, the petitioner has violated the prevailing law of the land and as it was not registered, which again was a violation.”

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