#OlaCabs banned for six months in Karnataka: Here's why

Ramya Patelkhana

#OlaCabs banned for six months in Karnataka: Here

22 Mar 2019: #OlaCabs banned for six months in Karnataka: Here's why

App-based cab service provider Ola Cabs has been banned from operating in Karnataka for six months by the state government.

The Transport Department of the Karnataka government has suspended the license of Ola Cabs for six months; the suspension order was issued on 18 March.

The cab aggregator has been banned for illegally operating bike taxis violating government rules.

Here are more details.

Details: Ola Cabs to not ply on roads across Karnataka

The Transport Department of the Karnataka government has suspended the license issued to M/s Ani Technologies Pvt Ltd, Ola Cabs, Bangalore for the next six months.

As per the Department's suspension order, apart from the bike taxis, Ola Cabs cannot operate its aggregator service for other vehicles, too, including cars and autos, for six months.

Fact: Transport Department officials seized several Ola Cabs' bike taxis

An excerpt from the official notice read, "Earlier this year, Transport Department officials had seized several bikes which were operating as bike taxis for Ola. The officials probed the case and submitted a report to the Transport Commissioner."

Notice: Transport Department can decide to cancel the license: Notice

"According to Section 11 (1) of the Karnataka On Demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rules 2016, the Transport Department can decide to cancel the license of the cab aggregator as there is a violation of rules," stated the official notice.

The notice also added, "Prior to this, a notice must be sent to the company in question (in this case, Ola Cabs)."

Fact: Transport Department sent notice to Ola Cabs last month

On 15 February, Karnataka's Transport Department had sent a notice to Ola Cabs in which it asked the cab aggregator to respond to the findings of the probe conducted by the Transport Department officials. Ola sent its response to the notice on 3 March.

Ola's response: Ola Cabs' reply to Transport Department's notice was not satisfactory

"As the company's (Ola's) reply was not satisfactory and did not provide any evidence which proved it did not violate norms, the Transport Department, as on March 18, 2019, has decided to suspend the license of Ola for a period of six months," the official notice stated.

Ola Cabs is required to submit the license's original copy within three days of receiving the order.

Aggregator: Transport Department explains the definition of aggregator

Also, the Transport Department explained that an aggregator is a person or an operator or an intermediary/marketplace "who canvasses or solicits or facilitates passengers for travel by taxi".

It added the aggregator "connects the passenger/intending passenger to a driver of a taxi through phone calls, internet, web-based services, or GPS/GPRS-based services whether or not any fare, fee, commission, brokerage or other charges are collected."

Fact: This notification is unfortunate, says Ola Cabs

Meanwhile, Ola Cabs stated, "This notification is unfortunate, and we look forward to an opportunity to address these concerns directly with state officials to find a solution for our driver-partners and millions of Ola users in Karnataka," according to TheNewsMinute's report.