High court lifts govt ban on Uber in New Delhi

The Delhi High Court has set aside a Delhi government order rejecting online taxi service provider Uber's application for a cab service licence. The HC raised doubts on complete ban on app-based cabs, saying the Delhi government can only impose strict conditions which Uber should follow.

Wednesday's high court ruling clears the way for the US-based Uber Technologies to operate in the capital city and reapply for a licence.

The Delhi government, in December last year, barred Uber from operating in New Delhi after one of its drivers was accused of rape.

The authorities rejected Uber's licence application last month and started impounding its vehicles, citing a violation of the ban.

While the court ruling opens the door for Uber restarting operations in New Delhi, it will have to appear before the competent transport authority and go through the procedures of obtaining a licence.

On 3 June, the transport department had rejected the licence applications of Uber, and Apra Cabs and Serendipity Infolabs (TaxiForSure), both held by ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd also known as Ola Cabs.

However, Ola managed to get a licence. In its petition, Uber also had cited the instance of a local rival getting a reprieve while the government decided to reject Uber's licence application.

"We are committed to working with the government to develop a regulatory framework that encourages innovation," said Gagan Bhatia, Uber's general manager in Delhi.

There was widespread outrage against online taxi companies that were primarily using mobile technology to connect passengers with drivers and cabs that do not have proper government registrations or safety checks in place.

Uber, which was forced to halt operations in New Delhi in December, resumed services in January after applying for a radio taxi licence despite the ban.