Economy, Sci & Tech

Indian Court Revokes Ban on Uber

Indian Court Revokes Ban on Uber
Indian Court Revokes Ban on Uber

A Delhi court has revoked a government ban imposed on online taxi firm Uber Technologies, clearing the way for the US-based company to operate in the capital city and reapply for a license.

Uber was banned in New Delhi last December after one of its drivers was accused of rape. The authorities rejected Uber's license application last month and started impounding its vehicles, citing a violation of the ban.

The Delhi High Court said the state government can impose strict conditions to regulate app-based taxi companies such as Uber but it does not favor a complete ban, a lawyer representing the Delhi government said, Reuters reports.

"Uber can now ply on Delhi roads," government lawyer Naushad Ahmad Khan told Reuters. "It, however, has been asked to appear before the competent transport authority to pursue the application."

Uber approached a court to challenge the government's decision to reject their license application after local rival Ola won a similar reprieve. Uber welcomed the court's directive on Wednesday. "We are committed to working with the government to develop a regulatory framework that encourages innovation," said Gagan Bhatia, the company's general manager in Delhi.

The December incident had led to widespread outrage against online taxi companies that were primarily using mobile technology to connect drivers with passengers, but did not have proper government registrations or safety checks in place.

Uber briefly halted operations in New Delhi in December, but resumed services in January after applying for a radio taxi license despite a state ban.

The company has also come under increasing pressure from courts around the world from legal authorities challenging unregulated presence. Uber, unlike regular taxi firms, avoids paying taxi license fees due to its app-based hailing system. The company has repeatedly stated in multiple litigations that due to its hailing system it is not liable for taxi license fees as well as parking fines in some jurisdictions.


The company has also come under increasing criticism for its pricing structure during emergencies. This week, Uber drivers in London have been charging up to 300% extra for fares during the ongoing London Underground subway strike that shut down all metro services in the British capital.

Uber announced last week that it had shut down its service in France after heavy protests and clashes occurred on the streets of Paris by French taxi drivers.

The company said its drivers faced "intimidation, violent assaults, and organized ambush" during protests last week.

The UberPOP app was ruled illegal by the French government last year. But Uber has appealed the decision, insisting that its activities in France are legal.

Uber has a presence in six cities across France and serves over 500,000 customers. Of those riders, 160,000 people regularly use the uberPOP service.