The Bombay High Court made an immediate order for Rapido, a bike taxi aggregator, to cease operations in Maharashtra as it does not possess the required license to operate either bike taxis or rickshaws.
Subsequently, Rapido took the resolution to deactivate its services – bike taxi, rickshaw and food delivery in Maharashtra until January 20th, 2023. The company then reported to the court that their app is currently not working within the state boundaries.
The Divisional Bench of Justices Gautam Patel and S G Dige cautioned the Pune-based taxi aggregator that they must temporarily suspend their bike service, or else they will be reluctantly compelled to command state authorities to forever exonerate the company from obtaining any license.
The court pointed out that without a valid license, Roppen Transportation Services Private Limited could not run its services on an unregulated basis. Consequently, the company filed a lawsuit against the communication sent by the state government denying them a bike taxi aggregator license on December 29th 2022.
In a recent correspondence from the state government, it was stated that there is no applicable policy regarding bike taxis and fares. As such, the company has pledged to suspend operations until January 20 when more information will become available on this issue.
Counsel Birendra Saraf implored the court to wait until the company halted its services before hearing their case. “They can’t come to this court while running the services illegally,” he declared.
In order to address the issue of bike taxis, a committee has been commissioned by the government in order to create guidelines for their operation. Furthermore, prohibition and prosecution will be taken against any entities operating such services without obtaining a license. According to Advocate General Saraf-
“We are also in the process of issuing prohibition and initiating prosecution against entities which are operating bike taxis without licence.”
Rapido has been directed to stop operations until the committee’s findings and guidelines are released. Meanwhile, the court will hear a petition filed by the company once the process is complete. Until then, Rapido will remain barred from offering its services in Maharashtra.
This move by the Bombay HC has come as a result of increasing complaints against bike taxi service provider companies who are running without the required license. It is hoped that with this ruling, the state will be able to pay more attention to regulating these services in order to ensure a safe, reliable and efficient transportation system for all.
Shivendra Tiwari is an Engineer and an MBA in Marketing. He is the Content head at Marketing91 and a thorough Online Marketing enthusiast. Shivendra loves to follow different brands and study their Business and Marketing tactics.