Ola and Taxi For Sure win case against Delhi ban, Uber goes to court

The Delhi High Court today set aside the Delhi government's orders rejecting the applications of app-based cab operators Apra Cabs India Pvt Ltd (Ola) and Serendipity Infolabs Pvt Ltd (Taxi For Sure) for licences to operate in the national capital, saying the reason for not granting licence was not valid.

Ola's legal reprieve has prompted US-based rival Uber to file a similar suit to challenge the rejection of their licence applications in the capital city.

Hearing a writ filed by Serendipity Labs and Apra Cabs Pvt Limited to stop impounding and penalising of their cabs in the National Capital, the Delhi High Court told the state government to point out deficiencies in their applications.

"No one is stopping you from taking a fresh decision," Justice S Muralidhar told the transport department.

The court noted that the only reason given by the Delhi transport department while rejecting the applications of Apra Cabs and Serendipity Infolabs, both of which are held by ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd, was that as per some earlier orders they had to give sworn affidavits stating they were complying with the 8 December 2014 ban on such taxis.

The court said the orders of 24 March and 17 April to Apra and Serendipity, respectively, did not require them to supply any sworn affidavit as was stated in the government's 3 June 2015 letters to the companies.

The court said that if the Delhi government felt that the two companies needed to satisfy any other requirements under the modified Radio Taxi Scheme, then fresh communications must be sent to them and they should be given an opportunity of being heard.

The court said no show cause notice was issued to the two companies prior to the rejection of their licence applications.

Transport authorities in New Delhi banned Ola and Uber from plying their vehicles and started impounding vehicles contracted to Ola and Uber saying the firms were operating in violation of orders imposed in December after a woman passenger accused an Uber driver of rape.

The court also said the authorities should write to Ola with requirements for a licence within 10 days.

Hundreds of drivers working for both Uber and Ola protested in the capital earlier this week against the disruption in their operations

Delhi government officials, however, denied that the court had ordered the Delhi government to revoke ban on the mobile app based taxi companies, a senior Delhi government official said the court had merely agreed to the submission that their side be heard.