Handicapped in acting against app-based taxi services: Government

New Delhi, Oct 5 (IANS) The state transport department on Monday told the Delhi High Court that app-based taxi services like Ola have been flouting laws but it is “handicapped” in taking action against them.

Justice Manmohan was informed by Delhi government’s standing counsel Naushad Ahmed Khan that it has become “handicapped” in taking action against app-based cab companies as taxis operated by them have no identification marks.

“We are totally handicapped in taking action against them (app-based taxi companies). We can’t identify these vehicles. If you check with the driver, he will deny working for them and we cannot always check with the passengers. It’s a total mess. It’s like hide and seek. Today we cannot impound a single vehicle as the cabs cannot be identified,” he said.

“Their subsidiary companies are using the common platform and if I ask for an Ola cab, they can send me a cab operating under their subsidiary, Taxi For Sure,” added Khan.

Senior advocate Nidhesh Gupta, representing the Association of Radio Taxis, said Ola cannot abuse the ban order.

“They are diverting the fleet of diesel vehicles through Taxi For Sure, a 100 percent subsidiary of Ola Cab. Also, under the new application software, there are two options — within NCR and outside NCR — and they are continuing to ply diesel vehicles within Delhi through the non-NCR option,” he said.

On July 29 Justice Manmohan banned the plying of diesel-based cabs in the city, a decision reaffirmed by a division bench on August 11.

During the hearing, the court asked ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd, the operator of cab hailing service Ola, to share the working of its smartphone app on a real-time basis with police or the state transport department. ANI was asked to submit an affidavit that the booking app was not misused and another affidavit showing how it works.

The court will hear the matter next on October 13.

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