6 April 2022 4:01 AM GMT
The Bombay High Court on Tuesday asked cab aggregators, including Uber India and Ola, who were recently granted provisional licenses under the Motor Vehicles Aggregators Guidelines, 2020 framed by the Union government, to strictly follow the guidelines. The court also asked the Maharashtra government to consider customer feedback in the nature of complaints against the aggregators...
The Bombay High Court on Tuesday asked cab aggregators, including Uber India and Ola, who were recently granted provisional licenses under the Motor Vehicles Aggregators Guidelines, 2020 framed by the Union government, to strictly follow the guidelines.
The court also asked the Maharashtra government to consider customer feedback in the nature of complaints against the aggregators to find out if there is deficiency in the grievance redressal mechanism.
The bench said it did not have the powers to legislate and order conditions for better grievance redressal to be added in the guidelines, it would however consider issuing directions.
In that regard the court asked the PIL petitioner advocate Savina Crasto to give her suggestions, whether the guidelines for grievance redressal were being followed scrupulously and if anything can be done in addition which could be considered during the next hearing on June 20, 2022.
"The deficiencies will be addressed in a time-bound manner. The state is at liberty to give suggestions to implement guidelines. The mechanism will have to be consumer-friendly," the court said.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Makarand S Karnik was hearing Crasto, who had raised grievances regarding the ineffectiveness of redressal mechanism by a cab aggregator.
On Monday, the Maharashtra government submitted a compliance report in which the State said that 11 Regional Transport Authorities (RTAs) received 29 applications. Out of them 12 were given provisional licences under the 2020 guidelines while 17 were still under scrutiny.
The court had directed the state to issue provisional licences for the eligible aggregators based on the Centre's rules till the Maharashtra Regulation of Aggregator Rules, 2021, which is pending approval, comes into effect.
The State told the court that Uber and Ola were granted provisional license to ply cabs in Mumbai under the 2020 guidelines.
However, the petitioner argued that while the state has filed a compliance report, it does not mention anything about a grievance mechanism. She added that there is also no clarity on how the state will come up with its own guidelines and also how would it ensure the 2020 guidelines are followed.
Senior Advocate Janak Dwarkadas representing Uber submitted that an emergency number is provided. However, it was observed that 7 people on the 24/7 helpline for the state may not be enough.
"We do not like to fall behind, we do not want Ola to have better business than Uber. That is not good for our business. There is a service available of the same nature. If the state says there is something about a complaint mechanism that my client must incorporate, then we will incorporate the same," Dwarkadas argued.
However, the court sought suggestions from the State and Centre and said it not disposing of the PIL before adjourning the matter to June.
According to Section 9 of the Guidelines regarding the Aggregator's App and Website:
a. The App shall be accessible in English and Hindi as the primary languages, for the Rider along with one official language of the relevant state where the official language is not Hindi. App shall be accessible in Driver's language.
b. In-app vulnerabilities are revealed to lndian Computer Emergency Response Team formed under the IT Ministry. Safety of the App shall be certified by a recognized cyber security firm.
c. Ensuring that the data generated on the App is stored on a server in lndia and that such stored data shall be for a minimum of 3 months and maximum of 24 months from the date on which such data is generated. This data shall be made available to the State Government as per due process of
d. Details of the trip like passenger details, origin and destination should be available for three months
e. Ensuring transparency in its. operations, including but not limited to, functioning of the App algorithm, proportion of fare- payable to the Driver; incentives given to the Drivers, charges received from the driver
f. Ensuring that the picture of each Driver integrated with the Aggregator is clearly visible on the App.
g. Presence of the Website comprising details of the ownership, registered address, fare structure, services offered, consumer services telephone-number and email address and such other details as may be needed
h. Implementing a zero-tolerance policy on the use of drugs or alcohol applicable to any Driver,
i. 24x7 control room
j. Establishing call centres with valid telephone number and operational email address displayed clearly on the App with 24x7 operations wherein assistance shall be provided to the Rider and/or the Driver
Case Title: Savina R. Crasto V/s. The Union of India & Ors
Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (Bom) 119
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