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Ola, Uber Can Resume Auto Services In Bangalore, says Karnataka HC

In the interim order issued on Friday, the Karnataka HC has also capped the convenience fee levied by the apps at 10% of the fare, not including GST.

Ola, Uber Can Resume Auto Services In Bangalore, says Karnataka HC
POSTED ON October 16, 2022 2:43 PM

The Karnataka High Court (HC) has given temporary relief to private cab aggregators in Bangalore following a state transport department notice that was issued to them last week. According to the notice, aggregators like Ola, Uber and Rapido were asked to stop offering auto services in the city amid complaints of over-charging.  
 
The transport department had argued that the licenses issued to the private aggregators only covered four-wheeled cabs and not autos. Licenses of both Ola and Uber had expired and their renewal applications were still pending. The department's notice was then challenged by Ola and Uber in HC citing the Motor Vehicles Aggregator Guidelines (MVAG) 2020 which allows for auto service to be offered via apps.  

In the interim order issued on Friday, the Karnataka HC has also capped the convenience fee levied by the apps at 10 per cent of the fare, not including GST. Welcoming this, Uber stated that the interim order recognises the auto drivers' right to use aggregator platforms and that it gives legitimacy to the service provided by Uber.

However, the cap on convenience fee will threaten the viability of the business and impact tens of thousands of auto drivers who rely on it for their livelihoods, Uber's statement added.  

Justice MG Shukure Kamal, who issued the interim order, also directed the state transport department to sit down for talks with the private aggregators to reach an agreement regarding fair pricing. Of late, Bangalore citizens have had to pay over Rs 100 for auto rides less than 2km, leading to rising complaints against app-based auto providers. The next hearing of the case is likely to be on November 7.  

While the aggregators will be hoping that the cap on convenience fee does not become permanent, the transport department has been asked not to take any coercive actions against the app-based service providers. The HC has also asked for the license renewal pleas to be taken up in accordance with the existing laws.

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