New Delhi: The Delhi high court has warned the Aam Aadmi Party government of strict action if it does not finalise its policy to regulate taxis running in the national capital by the end of November this year.
The warning by the court came after the government said its policy — the City Taxi Scheme 2017 — was under consideration and would take more time to finalise. The Delhi high court on Monday had sought response of an NGO on the pleas of app-based taxi service providers Ola and Uber seeking quashing of summons for allegedly operating taxis without licence and charging excess fare from passengers.
The government had in September last year sought four weeks’ time to place the regulations before the court, and on July 31 this year, it sought two months more to carry out the exercise. Dissatisfied by the government’s stand, a two-judge bench of the high court in its order of July 31 directed that the New City Taxi Policy and the Licensing and Regulation of App-based Aggregators Rules, 2017 be placed before the court by November 26, the next date of hearing.
“If action not taken by then we will be constrained to take strict action,” the court said.
The bench was hearing a PIL initiated by it on September 14 last year after taking cognisance of a September 12, 2017 incident in which a driver of a black-yellow taxi allegedly offered a lift to a woman and then sexually assaulted her.
The court had taken note of a report in an English daily in this regard.
Citing news report, the court had said, “It points out that enforcement agencies, Delhi Police and traffic police are unable to check gross violation of law by taxi drivers in Delhi, resulting in serious crimes including sexual violence against passengers.”
The report had said the 30-year-old taxi driver was arrested for allegedly raping the 23-year-old woman at a park near Red Fort in Old Delhi on September 12, 2017.
The woman had alleged that the taxi driver raped her after telling her that he would drop her at a bus stand from where she could go to Ludhiana in Punjab.
The court, quoting the report, had noted that the practice of operating shared taxis was common around railway stations.
The taxi in question did not have a GPS-based fare meter, which has been made mandatory by the transport department but has faced stiff resistance from autorickshaw and taxi unions.