Karnataka HC allows taxi aggregators to offer autorickshaw service by charging 10 percent extra, GST
Further hearing of of all three petitions filed by taxi aggregators has been posted for November 7 to enable the state to finalise the tariff .
Published: 14th October 2022 07:52 PM | Last Updated: 14th October 2022 09:21 PM | A+A A-
BENGALURU: With a deadlock being the outcome during the fresh round of meeting held by the state government with the taxi aggregators on the issue of fare to be charged for the autorickshaw services being offered by them through their Apps, Karnataka High Court on Friday permitted the taxi aggregators to offer autorickshaw services by collecting 10 percent additional charge over and above the fare fixed by the state government, and applicable GST.
Justice MGS Kamal passed the order as an interim arrangement while granting 15 days time as sought by the state government to finalise the tariff as per the Motor Vehicles Aggregator Guidelines 2020 issued by the Central Government in November 2020. Till then, the state government should not take any coercive action against aggregators for offering autorickshaw services, he said while also issuing notice to the state government on the petitions filed by them.
Further hearing of of all three petitions filed by taxi aggregators--ANI Technologies Private Limited and Uber India Systems Private Limited and and Roppen Transportation Services-- which offers services through Ola, Uber and Rapido Apps, respectively, was adjourned to November 7, 2022, to enable the state to finalise the tariff .
Prior to this, Advocate General Prabhuling K Navadagi informed the court that no consensus was arrived at the meeting held on Thursday on the rate to be charged and State needs maximum of 15 days time required to resolve the issue and till then 5 or 7.5 to 10 percent may be allowed to collect as additional charges, he argued while referring to the 20 percent additional charges over and above the actual meter charge plus GST demanded by the petitioners.
He also submitted that state government open to formulate tariff and till then the guidelines should be adhered by the aggregators. In view of time to be taken to fix the tariff, the aggregators should follow the price fixed by the state government in November 2021 with 10 percent additional charge and tax towards the fare, he argued.
Then the court observed that the suggestion made by the Advocate General would meet the ends of justice. The aggregators are at liberty to seek license or renew license in accordance with law, the court added.
The taxi aggregators have challenged the notice dated October 6 with regard to providing autorickshaw services violating the Karnataka On-Demand Transportation Technology Aggregator Rules, 2016 and charging service charge more than the rate fixed by the government and also the communication dated October 12, 2022 issued by the Transport Commissioner to stop the said service.
Meanwhile, the court was brought to the notice of the court that the Central Government has amended the Section 93 of the Motor Vehicle Act with regard to provision for license to aggregators and guidelines to be followed. Therefore, the Motor Vehicle Aggregator Guidelines 2020 taken care of autorickshaw services also, the petitioners argued.