Rapido moved to Supreme Court challenging the Bombay High Court order, last week. The court directed the aggregator to shut down its services after it court heard its plea challenging the state's refusal to grant it a bike taxi aggregators a taxi aggregator license. The Supreme Court had decided to hear the plea of the bike taxi and auto aggregator on January 23.
The Supreme Court on Monday assured that it would soon hear the plea moved by the Ride hailing and food delivery application Rapido, challenging the Bombay High Court order which directed it to stop its services in Maharashtra immediately on January 13.
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Raising concerns on the continuing ban on the bike and taxi aggregator, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi submitted in the court today that, "These are like pillion taxis. It has been ten days since these people have been denied their licenses," to which a bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud assured that the Court would hear the matter soon.
"It is okay. High Court has dismissed the writ petition. We will list it", CJI Chandrachud said.
Rapido moved to Supreme Court last week challenging the Bombay HC order to which the Supreme Court had decided to hear the plea of the aggregator today, on January 23. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud agreed to list the matter for today after it was mentioned before it.
Rapido, in its plea, cited the urgency before the SC saying that the halt in the services will affect thousands of employees working in the company.
The aggregator cited the Uber plea pending in SC and argued that SC had stayed Bombay HC order against Uber.
The Maharashtra state government, on December 29, 2022, had stated that there is no State policy on licensing of bike taxies and that there is no fare structure policy for bike taxies. Citing this, the State had refused to grant a license to Rapido.
Rapido then moved to Bombay HC challenging the State government's refusal to grant the two-wheeler bike taxi aggregator a license. The Bombay HC on January 2, had asked the State to consider the benefits of having two-wheeler transport and opined that there is nothing to stop the State from framing a policy.
However, on being informed that Rapido was continuing to ply its taxis without a license in Maharashtra, the court had warned the company of adverse action if the same was not halted.
Later, on last Friday, the Bombay HC dismissed the plea filed by Rapido against the State government's refusal to grant it license and directed the taxi aggregator to halt its operation in Maharashtra.
The aggregator agreed to shut down all its services including ride hailing as well food delivery from 1 pm on January 13. Rapido confirmed that the app is now inoperative in Maharashtra. For the customers' convenience, those who booked rides before 1pm on Friday, the petitioner may fulfill those obligations.
Rapido announced its bike-taxi service in October in Mumbai and said it planned to get two lakh bike drivers on board to expand its operations. In November last year, the Mumbai RTO had issued a notice to Rapido asking it to shut its services immediately saying the state government had not yet given it permission to operate.
Last month, the auto rickshaw union in Pune had announced a strike near the city's RTO, to protest against the bike taxis, which they said were operating "illegally" and harming their business. The auto union was demanding that the bike taxis be permanently suspended by the RTO department.
First Published: Jan 17, 2023 5:45 PM IST
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