Aggregator Rules; Satish N. Vs. State [Karnataka High Court, 10-11-2016]

Karnataka On-demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rules, 2016 – technological transport service provider, otherwise called “aggregator” – Held, An Aggregator is a canvasser. Therefore, the aggregator falls within the scope of Section 93 of the Act. Hence, the Aggregator Rules are legally framed under Section 93 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.

IN THE HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA AT BENGALURU

DATED THIS THE 10TH DAY OF NOVEMBER 2016

BEFORE THE HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE RAGHVENDRA S. CHAUHAN

WRIT PETITION No.30917/2016 & WRIT PETITION Nos.31359-31361/2016 (MV) c/w WRIT PETITION No.30191/2016 (MV) c/w WRIT PETITION Nos.31673-31674/2016 (MV) IN WRIT PETITION No.30917/2016 & WRIT PETITION Nos.31359-31361/2016 BETWEEN: 1. SATISH N. S/O. NARAYAN, AGED ABOUT 27 YEARS, RESIDING AT 999, 6TH CROSS, 12TH MAIN, RAJENDRA NAGAR, KORAMANGALA, BANGALORE – 560047. 2. K. MURALI S/O. K. NARAHARI, AGED ABOUT 31 YEARS, RESIDING AT: 31, NETRAVATHI EXTENSION, DEVASANDRA, K. R. PURAM, BANGALORE – 560036. 3. MOHAMMED RIAZ PASHA S/O. ABDUL GAFFAR, AGED ABOUT 47 YEARS, RESIDING AT: 8 PATEL DOWN, 5TH CROSS, 5TH MAIN ROAD, RAHMAT NAGAR, R. T. NAGAR POST, BANGALORE – 560 032. 2 4. ABHINAYA KHATAVKAR S/O. RAMESH, AGED ABOUT 36 YEARS, RESIDING AT: 67, 6TH A MAIN, 15TH CROSS, J. C. NAGAR, MAHALAKSHMIPURAM, BANGALORE-560086. … PETITIONERS (BY MR. UDAYA HOLLA, SENIOR ADV. FOR MR. VIKAS N. MAHENDRA, ADV.) AND: 1. STATE OF KARNATAKA REPRESENTED BY ITS PRINCIPAL SECRETARY, VIDHANA SOUDHA, BENGALURU-560001. 2. COMMISSIONER FOR TRANSPORT AND ROAD SAFETY, 1ST FLOOR, ‘A’ BLOCK, TTMC BUILDING, SHANTINAGAR, BENGALURU-560027. 3. UBER INDIA TECHNOLOGIES PRIVATE LIMITED HAVING ITS REGISTERED OFFICE AT: E-15, MAIN MARKET, HAUZ KHAS, NEW DELHI-110016, REPRESENTED BY ITS DIRECTOR. 4. ANI TECHNOLOGIES PRIVATE LIMITED HAVING ITS REGISTERED OFFICE AT: REGENT INSIGNIA, #414, 3RD FLOOR, 4TH BLOCK, 17TH MAIN, 100 FEET ROAD, KORAMANGALA, BANGALORE-560034, REPRESENTED BY ITS DIRECTOR. 5. ASSOCIATION OF RADIO TAXIS REGISTERED OFFICE AT 261, GROUND FLOOR, OKHLA INDUSTRIAL ESTATE, PHASE III, NEW DELHI-110020, THROUGH ITS AUTHORISED REPRESENTATIVE … RESPONDENTS 3 (BY MR. A. S. PONNANNA, ADDL. ADVOCATE GENERAL & MR. D. ASHWATHAPPA, AGA FOR R-1 & R-2 MR. SAJAN POOVAYYA, SENIOR ADV. FOR Ms. ANUPAMA G. HEBBAR, ADV., FOR KEYSTONE PARTNERS, FOR R-3 MR. FAISAL SHERWANI, ADV. FOR R-4 MR. S. S. NAGANAND, SENIOR ADV. FOR MR. VIJAY KUMAR DESAI, Ms. VEENA RAJES & MR. ZERIC DASTUR, ADVS., FOR J. SAGAR ASSOCIATES, FOR R-5) THESE WRIT PETITIONS ARE FILED UNDER ARTICLES 226 & 227 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA PRAYING TO STRIKE DOWN THE IMPUGNED RULES NOTIFIED DATED 2.4.2016 ISSUED BY R-1 AT ANNEXURE-A AS BEING ULTRA VIRES OF THE MOTOR VEHICLES ACT, 1988 AND VIOLATIVE OF ARTICLES 14, 19(1)(G) AND 301 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA AND ETC. IN WRIT PETITION No.30191/2016 BETWEEN: M/S. HELION TECHNOLOGIES PVT. LTD. REPRESENTED BY ITS DIRECTOR, MR. VISHAL KUMAR, HAVING ITS OFFICE AT SECOND FLOOR, 81/37, THE HULKUL, LAVELLE ROAD, BANGALORE-560001. … PETITIONER (BY MR. ANISH MUNU B., ADV.) AND: 1. THE GOVERNMENT OF KARNATAKA REPRESENTED BY THE PRINCIPAL SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT, GOVERNMENT OF KARNATAKA, M. S. BUILDING, BENGALURU-560001. 4 2. THE COMMISSIONER FOR TRANSPORT AND ROAD SAFETY, 1ST FLOOR, ‘A’ BLOCK, TTMC BUILDING, SHANTINAGAR, BENGALURU-560027. 3. ASSOCIATION OF RADIO TAXIS #261, GROUND FLOOR, OKHLA INDUSTRIAL ESTATE, PHASE-III, NEW DELHI-110020. 4. BANGALORE TOURIST TAXI OWNERS ASSOCIATION (REGD.), #2 & 10, BDA SHOPPING COMPLEX, DOMALURU, BANGALORE-560071. … RESPONDENTS (BY MR. A. S. PONNANNA, ADDL. ADVOCATE GENERAL & MR. D. ASHWATHAPPA, AGA FOR R-1 & R-2) MR. RAVI VERMA KUMAR, SENIOR ADV. FOR MR. VIJAY KUMAR DESAI, Ms. VEENA RAJES & MR. ZERIC DASTUR, ADVS., FOR J. SAGAR ASSOCIATES, FOR R-3 MR. S. P. SHANKAR, SENIOR ADV. FOR MR. KUMAR M. N., ADV. FOR R-4) THIS WRIT PETITION IS FILED UNDER ARTICLES 226 & 227 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA PRAYING TO QUASH THE KARNATAKA ON-DEMAND TRANSPORTATION TECHNOLOGY AGGREGATORS RULES, 2016, PRODUCED AS ANNEXURE-A. IN WRIT PETITION Nos.31673-31674/2016 BETWEEN: 1. UBER INDIA TECHNOLOGIES PRIVATE LIMITED HAVING ITS REGISTERED OFFICE AT: E-15, MAIN MARKET, HAUZ KHAS, NEW DELHI-110016, REPRESENTED BY ITS GENERAL MANAGER, MR. BHAVIK RATHOD. 5 ALSO AT: #1668/A, RJP TOWERS, 27TH MAIN, 2ND SECTOR, PARANGI PALYA, HSR LAYOUT, BENGALURU-560102. 2. UBER BV HAVING ITS REGISTERED OFFICE AT: VIJZELSTRAAT 68, 1017 HL AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS, REPRESENTED BY ITS AUTHORISED SIGNATORY, MR. BHAVIK RATHOD. … PETITIONERS (BY MR. SAJAN POOVAYYA, SENIOR ADV. FOR Ms. ANUPAMA G. HEBBAR, AND MR. ADITYA CHATTERJEE, ADVS., FOR KEYSTONE PARTNERS) AND: 1. STATE OF KARNATAKA THROUGH ITS PRINCIPAL SECRETARY, VIDHANA SOUDHA, BENGALURU-560001. 2. COMMISSIONER FOR TRANSPORT 1ST FLOOR, TTMC BUILDING, K. H. ROAD, SHANTINAGAR, BENGALURU-560027. 3. ASSOCIATION OF RADIO TAXIS REGISTERED OFFICE AT 261, GROUND FLOOR, OKHLA INDUSTRIAL ESTATE, PHASE III, NEW DELHI-110020, THROUGH ITS AUTHORISED REPRESENTATIVE MR. SIDDHARTHA PAHWA … RESPONDENTS (BY MR. A. S. PONNANNA, ADDL. ADVOCATE GENERAL & MR. D. ASHWATHAPPA, AGA FOR R-1 & R-2) MR. S. S. NAGANAND, SENIOR ADV. FOR MR. VIJAY KUMAR DESAI, Ms. VEENA RAJES & MR. ZERIC DASTUR, ADVS., FOR J. SAGAR ASSOCIATES, FOR R-3) 6 THESE WRIT PETITIONS ARE FILED UNDER ARTICLES 226 & 227 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA PRAYING TO STRIKE DOWN THE KARNATAKA ON-DEMAND TRANSPORTATION TECHNOLOGY AGGREGATORS RULES, 2016, PASSED BY R-1, NOTIFIED DATED 2.4.2016 PRODUCED AT ANNEXURE-A AS BEING ULTRA VIRES OF THE MOTOR VEHICLES ACT, 1988 AND VIOLATIVE OF ARTICLES 14, 19(1)(G) AND 301 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA AND ETC. THESE PETITIONS HAVING BEEN HEARD AND RESERVED FOR ORDERS, COMING ON FOR PRONOUNCEMENT THIS DAY, THE COURT MADE THE FOLLOWING:

ORDER

Information Technology, and globalization have revolutionized our lives. The introduction of e-commerce, of e-governance, of e-banking, of telemarketing, have transformed our world. The taxi sector, in the urban transportation system, is a glaring example of the phenomenal changes brought by information technology and globalization. Gone are the days of endlessly waiting for a taxi to catch. At a click of a button, taxis can be called for anytime and anywhere. Through the use of downloaded software, a passenger can specify not only the kind of taxi he/she requires, but can also choose the kind of driver he/she prefers. The days of ‘hail and ply taxis’ are over; the days of radio taxis seem to be numbered. However, globalization has introduced cut throat competition, as multi-national companies are threatening the very existence of the indigenous companies. Therapid spread of information technology, the extensive reach of globalization are, thus, a boon and a bane for the people at large.

2. A few astray incidents in taxis, supplied by technological transport service provider, otherwise called “aggregator”, in few parts of the country, and the threat posed by new players has alerted the government to a perceived danger: the emergence of “the aggregator”. Such new breed of taxi providers need to be regulated as much as the brick and mortar taxis. An advisory issued by the Central Government, dated 08.10.2015, a direction issued by the Karnataka High Court in the case of B. G. Lingaraju @ B. G. Shivanna and Another v. Government of Karnataka and Others [ (W.P.Nos.2178-2179/2015) decided on 20.01.2015] convinced the State Government to go into the fast lane, and to frame the

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