Following the alleged rape incident in Delhi involving a driver belonging to Uber cab service, the Delhi government late on Monday night has asked all cab services running without licences to be off the road. This means all mobile app based taxi booking services such as Ola Cabs and TaxiforSure will have to be off the road till they procure licence to operate.
Uber service was banned on Monday noon as the Delhi government said it was operating in the state without a valid licence. What the taxi services need to watch out for is if this would have a cascading effect in other states as well.
The government seems to have started the crack down on taxi services in order to stem the public protest following the rape incident. An Uber driver was arrested on Sunday after he was alleged of raping a 25-year old woman passenger on Friday night. Following the incident, the taxi service came under flak for not doing enough background checks before hiring the driver or bringing them on the platform.
The transport department of Delhi government issued a notification that said only six cab services – Easy Cab, Mega Cab, Meru Cab, Chanson Cab, Yo Cab and Air Cab – had the licence to operate radio taxis. The notification was issued soon after Uber had been banned.
Time of India reported that there could be around 20 cab services such as Quick Cabs, Delhi Cab, Wyn and Cosy, besides Uber, Ola and Taxi For Sure, that will have to cease operations till they get licence. The order will not affect Meru Cabs as they have a licence to operate in all cities where they are operating.
The companies like Ola, Taxi For Sure and Uber are asset light models and they aggregate third party owned taxis on their tech platform and processes the payments. These companies act like lead generating platforms.
Meanwhile, Uber has been slapped with an FIR by Delhi Police for negligent conduct and cheating, according to a newspaper report. The police have invoked Section 420 (cheating) of IPC and are contemplating invoking several other sections, which means Uber will have to get their legal army ready to fight the case in Delhi.
Police on Monday also questioned Uber’s Delhi general manager Gagan Bhatia at the Sarai Rohilla police station.