Uber gets ultimatum to respond in a week or face action

The Delhi government has given a week’s notice to taxi service providers Uber and TaxiForSure to fill gaps in their licence applications for radio-taxi operations. The transport authority has directed the companies to file relevant documents, “failing which it would be presumed the company has nothing to say”.

The department had sent deficiency memos to  OlaCabs, TaxiForSure, Uber and NTL Cabs on January 24 and requested these to complete their applications at the earliest. Chennai-based NTL was the first to respond and get the licence. Ola has also filed the documents.

“Since we have already issued a licence to NTL, no one can argue the changed rules are not workable,” said a government official.

It has been reported TaxiForSure is in talks with Ola for an acquisition, which could be why it is not responding, added the official. “That leaves us with only Uber, and if it doesn’t respond this time, we will be forced to take action,” the person added.

An Uber spokeswoman said, “Uber has been and will continue to work with the authorities. We are evaluating the perceived deficiencies in the time period provided to us by the government.”

The department has found Uber, which has formed a subsidiary, Resource Expert India, has not registered the company  as a provider of public transport.

Other things missing from its application were an undertaking for parking, a telephone number, an e-mail address, and an address proof of its registered office, call centre arrangement details, and the feedback process.

The company had also not filed an affidavit that it followed the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, and the Information Technology Act, 2000.

While its taxis are governed by the Motor Vehicles Act, the web-based application comes under the purview of the Information Technology Act. Uber has been arguing that it is better governed by the Information Technology Act as it is a technology platform and not a taxi company and therefore giving an affidavit stating that it comes under the Motor Vehicle Act may be a sticking point.

The application for Taxi For Sure was found deficient on all the clauses as Uber and it has also been asked to furnish details of taxis, their drivers and its arrangement with the owners of the cars along with the induction schedule.

Aprameya R, co-founder and director at Taxi For Sure, had earlier told Business Standard, “We are working on the clarifications sought by them and we are in the process to submit the same.”

Defying warnings from the government, all the companies continued to operate in the capital without a license perhaps on the pretext that they have applied for the license and are awaiting approval.

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