SC Tells Maharashtra Government To Formulate Road Policy On Bike Taxis By 31 March, Refuses Relief To Rapido
The Supreme Court on Tuesday (7 February) directed the Maharashtra government to formulate a road transport policy, governing bike taxis by 31 March.
The Court also refused to interfere with the 19 January decision of the state government restricting aggregator and ride pooling services for two-wheelers under the non-transport or private vehicle category.
The apex court was hearing the plea filed by Rapido, a bike taxi aggregator, against the Maharashtra government’s refusal to grant a two-wheeler license to the company.
A bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha, and Justice JB Pardiwala gave the company the liberty to approach the Bombay High Court to challenge the notification of the state government dated 19 January.
The government order was previously upheld by the Bombay High Court on 20 January. The company then proceeded to challenge the petition in the apex court and also filed a separate petition.
“We are not inclined to entertain the challenge to the January 19 notification since the petitioner is at liberty to approach the high court,” Chief Justice Chandrachud said in his ruling.
The court clarified that the high court will not be bound by its earlier order of 20 January. The bench also noted that the Maharashtra government had constituted a committee to examine the policy for bike taxis considering various facets such as safety, traffic congestion, and pollution.
The aggregator challenged that the state has no policy for aggregators and relies on Aggregator Guidelines formulated by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH). Further, certain conditions which were necessary to obtain a license were “impossible to achieve”.
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