Mumbai: Following a strong rap from the Bombay High Court, the “illegally run” Rapido Bike Taxi services disabled its app within an hour and suspended all services in Maharashtra till January 20.
The move followed an order by a bemnch of of Justice Gautam S. Patel and Justice Shivkumar G. Dige warning that if the company did not suspend services immediately, it would permanently bar it from getting a license and impose a heavy fine.
The irked court’s order came in a petition filed by Rappen Transportation Services Pvt Ltd – which operates Rapido Bike Taxi in Mumbai and Pune – challenging a state government communication of December 29, 2022, refusing to issue it a bike taxi aggregator licence.
Advocate General Dr. Birendra Saraf informed the court that the state government has appointed a committee to examine the issue, and formulate guidelines on various aspects, including safety, before licensing.
However, he said that Rapido was operating illegally without a licence and said first it should discontinue the illegality before coming to the court.
The December 29, 2022 intimation declined the licence to the company on grounds that there is no state policy or fare structure on this mode of bike transport.
The annoyed judges also disagreed with the company’s contentions that it had complied with the conditions and guidelines under the Motor Vehicles Act.
When the state produced a list of aggregators whose licence applications were pending before the government, the judges said that the proposed policy would be equal for all aggregators to the extent that licences to ply such services would be given to all or to none.