More than a week after suspending Ola’s cab aggregator licence for running bike-taxis and subsequently lifting the ban after imposing a fine of Rs 15 lakh, the Karnataka government faces a court petition by the ride-hailing app for not issuing a licence to operate two-wheelers in the state.
The plea in the Karnataka High Court seeks a bike-taxi permit, in line with a central government notification of 2016 allowing licences for two-wheeler operators, The Economic Times reported. Ola, which had been banned on 18 March by the Karnataka government for a period of six months, along with bike-taxi operator Rapido, is also seeking in its petition a prohibition on other two-wheeler operators till they get licences.
In The Economic Times report, Ola lawyer Faisal Sherwani, who is partner at L&L Associates, said, “There is a notification of the Union ministry of road transport and highways that instructs states to give permits to operators of bike taxis. Further, if it is indeed illegal, the state transport department needs to ban all other bike-taxi aggregators and not just Ola, which had a licence to operate in the state.”
Queries to Ola remained unanswered till the time of publishing this story.
Before issuing notices for violating licence rules and suspension of permits, the Karnataka government had impounded 200 bike-taxis in a week-long drive belonging to Ola and Rapido.
The Karnataka government had constituted a committee to study the bike-taxi model in October 2018.