NEW DELHI: “Unlicensed” cab aggregators such as Ola and Uber can’t overcharge in the name of “surge pricing” or “peak time charges” and they are operating “illegally” in the national capital, the Delhi government told the HC on Saturday.
“The alleged unlicensed aggregators namely Ola and Uber are operating illegally as their applications for licences were rejected by the transport department vide order dated June 28, 2015,” the AAP government’s transport department said in an affidavit in the Delhi High Court.
“Not only the app-based companies are unlicensed but they are also not allowed to charge more than prescribed rates of fares in the shape of “surge pricing”’ or “peak time charge”and punitive actions are being taken against violators by the enforcement teams of the department and traffic police are also being requested to stop illegal operations by these app-based operators,” it said. The response came on a plea filed by Magic Sewa Pvt Ltd, which alleged that certain unlicensed taxi aggregators “have been disdainfully violating” its notification on fares by charging very low amounts like `5 per km or as high as Rs 38 per km.
It, however, informed the court in its affidavit that to “regulate autorickshaws and taxi services, the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, under relevant provisions of section 93, 95 and 96, introduced a scheme called ‘City Taxi Scheme 2015’on August 26, 2015.
“The said scheme provides that the licensee shall charge fares as prescribed by the transport department from time to time and as such there is no provision for charging any kind of ‘peak time charge’ or ‘surge prices’,” it added.
The government on April 18 faced the ire of the court when it said they cannot “wash their hands of” overcharging by Uber and Ola, as the “general public was suffering”.