Can websites of app-based taxis be blocked, HC asks government

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Wednesday asked the city government whether websites of app-based taxis can be blocked, while hearing a PIL that alleged that despite their being banned these taxi services are still operating.

A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw asked city government standing counsel Zubeda Begum to file an affidavit stating the steps taken on implementing the order which banned web based taxi services and whether these websites can be blocked by it.

The bench said: "Why can't it (blocking the websites) be done? You (Delhi government) can block the sites. There is a wing of Delhi Police working on this."

"Government to take instruction whether they can block the websites of app-based taxis which have been banned by them. They also have to indicate the steps taken on imposing the ban and its implementation," it added.

The court asked the government to take instruction and file affidavit within four weeks and posted the matter for Feb 25.

During the hearing, Delhi government told the court that it has been taking action against cabs which were found operating despite the ban.

"We (government) have been acting on this. Last week we have impounded over 100 taxis," advocate Begum told the court.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by one Harkesh Gupta, who sought action against the companies who are violating the government order dated Jan 1 through which it banned app-based cabs here.

Following the alleged rape of a 27-year-old woman in the national capital by the driver of US-based cab service Uber, the transport department of the Delhi government Dec 8, 2014 banned the services of all app-based taxis. Jan 1 the government confirmed the ban on app-based taxis.

The plea said Uber has been complying with the ban imposed by the government but other cab companies like Ola Cabs, TaxiForSure etc were still plying in the city.

"The government and police have failed and neglected to enforce the ban despite being aware that these companies are not only flouting the ban but also the applicable provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act and other rules framed thereunder," the petition said.

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