Big jolt to Rapido, Ola, Uber: Delhi govt bans bike taxi services in national capital

In a major blow to the bike taxi operators in Delhi, the Transport Department has banned commercial bike taxi services plying on the roads of Delhi. Carrying passengers on hire or reward basis would be considered a violation of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, which would make the aggregators liable to a fine of Rs 1 lakh.

The department said in a public notice that for the first offence, a fine of Rs 5,000 can be imposed, while for a second offence, a fine of Rs 10,000 and imprisonment of up to one year can be imposed. In the circumstances the driver will also lose his license for three months.

The notice states that some app-based companies are posing themselves as aggregators in violation of the 1988 Act. On doing so, a fine of one lakh rupees will have to be paid. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court refused to grant relief to bike taxi aggregator Rapido against the Maharashtra government’s denial of license to it.

It was noted that the amendments made to the Motor Vehicles Act in 2019 made it clear that aggregators cannot operate without a valid license. A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala noted that the Regional Transport Office of Pune had rejected her plea for license on December 21.

The bench said that Roopen Transportation Services Pvt Ltd (Rapido) can challenge the January 19 notification of the state government, which prohibited the use of non-transport vehicles through car pooling. It added that the validity of the RTO’s December order would be subsumed by a subsequent comprehensive decision of the state government.