NEW DELHI: Delhi High Court today asked the city government and traffic police to give a report indicating whether app-based cab service provider Ola was operating in the national capital in violation of its orders.
Justice Manmohan sought a status report from Delhi government on steps taken to enforce the court's decisions upholding the transport department's January 1 ban on such companies till they complied with the modified Radio Taxi Scheme.
The order came on the plea of the Association of Radio Taxis which claimed that ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd, which operates under brand name of Ola, was still running in the city in violation of court orders.
The association has alleged that Ola has been operating in the city despite a July 29 order of a single-judge as well as a August 11 decision of a division bench of the high court upholding the ban.
The association has sought initiation of contempt action against Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO and founder of Ola, for the company's alleged operations in violation of court orders.
Its lawyers placed bills of Ola cab services availed on August 12, 13 and 14 and contended that the company was still running.
The court, however, asked how it can be said that the bills were of diesel Ola cabs and not cabs run on CNG.
In reply, the association's counsel contended that it was an admitted fact that all taxis contracted by Ola are diesel cabs having All India Tourist Permits (AITP).
The counsel also termed as "inconceivable" that Ola could have converted 50 per cent of its fleet of diesel cabs to CNG, as stated in news reports, since the July 29 interim order.
The court, however, asked why the transport department had not come with a contempt plea and sought a status report from Delhi government in order to cross-check claims of the association with the ground reality.
The high court had on August 11 dismissed Ola's appeal against its July 29 order, saying the company was "factually incorrect" to contend non-CNG commercial vehicles, like diesel cabs, were not barred from plying in the national capital.
It had said that Ola's contention that as per Supreme Court orders, taxis only needed to be Euro II compliant was "misplaced".
The high court in its August 12 judgement had also said that its July 29 direction to enforce the January 1 order banning operation of app-based cab services till they comply with the modified Radio Taxi Scheme, was "unexceptionable".
It had observed that the single-judge's direction was passed with the purpose of strict compliance of the apex court's orders in M C Mehta case.
In its plea before the single-judge, Ola had contended that it was not amenable to the Delhi government's modified Radio Taxi Scheme as cabs contracted by it have All India Tourist Permits and thus, it does not need to apply for licence to operate in the city.
Ola has argued that other taxi organisations, which are not app-based, come under Radio Taxi Scheme and they own cabs they operate, while Ola does not own the vehicles that run under their brand and only connects the taxis with customers.
Delhi government's January 1, 2015, order had banned operation of app-based cab services till they complied with the guidelines of Radio Taxi Scheme of 2006 which was amended on December 26 last year.
The scheme was amended after a woman executive was allegedly raped in a Uber cab in December last year.