Ola, Uber drivers challenge Maha govt's 'arbitrary restrictions' in HC

Six drivers of Uber and Ola on Tuesday approached the Bombay High Court, challenging rules recently implemented by the Maharashtra government.

Ali Razzak Hussain and five other drivers of the mobile-app based cab companies petitioned the court claiming that the Maharashtra City Taxi Rules imposed "arbitrary restrictions" on taxis operating under companies such as Uber and Ola.

"According to the rules, app-based taxis will not be allowed to ply within the Mumbai Metropolitan Region on a national tourist permit. The drivers will have to get local permits," the petitioners' counsel, Kevic Setalvad, said.

Obtaining local permits would cost private taxi drivers and owners 10 times more than what it would cost drivers of black and yellow taxis, Setalvad said.

The petition was mentioned on Tuesday before a division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice N M Jamdar.

The court directed the petitioners to serve a notice to the state government and to Uber and Ola, and posted the petition for a hearing on June 14.

The court also wanted to know why the companies had not challenged the rules.

"Why have the companies not approached the court challenging the rules? Won't they too face a loss," Chief Justice Chellur asked.

The court noted that in South Mumbai and in some parts of Central Mumbai, the state government had prohibited the plying of autorickshaws.

"Even though autorickshaw drivers have permits, they are not allowed to ply in some parts of the city," Chief Justice Chellur said.

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