6 Ola, Uber drivers challenge Maharashtra City Taxi Rules in Bombay HC

6 Ola, Uber drivers challenge Maharashtra City Taxi Rules in Bombay HC
Drivers associated with Ola, Uber will have to get separate local permits to ply in Mumbai (Representational Image)

Six Uber and Ola drivers on Tuesday approached the Bombay High Court, challenging rules recently implemented by the Maharashtra government.

Ali Razzak Hussain and five other drivers of the mobile-app based cab companies petitioned the court claiming that the Maharashtra City Taxi Rules imposed ‘arbitrary restrictions’ on taxis operating under companies like Uber and Ola.

“According to the rules, app-based taxis will not be allowed to ply within the Mumbai Metropolitan Region on a national tourist permit. The drivers will have to get local permits,” the petitioners counsel, Kevic Setalvad, said.

Obtaining local permits would cost private taxi drivers and owners ten times more than what it would cost drivers of black and yellow taxis, Setalvad said.

Per the new rules, drivers will have to shell out Rs 25,000 towards permits for cars with engine capacity of under 1400 cc and Rs 2.61 lakh for cars with a higher engine capacity.

The petition was mentioned today before a division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice N M Jamdar.

The court directed the petitioners to serve a notice to the state government and to Uber and Ola, and posted the petition for a hearing on June 14.

The court also wanted to know why the companies had not challenged the rules. “Why have the companies not approached the court challenging the rules? Won’t they too face a loss,” Chief Justice Chellur asked.

The court noted that in south Mumbai and in some parts of Central Mumbai, the state government had prohibited the plying of auto rickshaws.

“Even though auto rickshaw drivers have permits, they are not allowed to ply in some parts of the city,” Chief Justice Chellur said.

An estimated 40,000 Ola and Uber cabs ply in the city currently.

With PTI inputs

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