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K’taka HC allows autorickshaw aggregators to collect 10% surcharge


With the case of autorickshaw aggregators still under trial, the High Court of Karnataka on 15 October allowed the service providers to also collect 10 per cent additional charge above the fare already fixed by the government.

Earlier, the High Court had directed the State government to fix the fare of app-based autorickshaw aggregators within 15 days.

The CM Bommai-led state government last fixed the autorickshaw fares on June 11, 2021. The state government had banned the app-based autorickshaw-hailing service citing they were charging surcharge over and above the fare fixed by the government.

ALSO READ: ‘Illegal’ auto-rickshaw services by Ola, Uber, Rapido continue to run in Karnataka despite ban

In his order, Justice MGS Kamal allowed the 10 per cent surcharge along with applicable GST and said this would be a only temporary measure till the new fares are fixed.

The private aggregators had sought at least 20 per cent surcharge, however, the state Transport Department was not willing to allow more than 10 per cent.

Last week, the government banned app-based autorickshaw-hailing services on the grounds that the licence issued under the Karnataka On-Demand Transportation Technology Aggregator Rules was only for cabs and not autorickshaws.

All three private aggregators – ANI Technologies Private Limited which operates Ola, Roppen Transportation Services Pvt Ltd and Uber India Systems Private Limited – challenged the ban before the court.

Justice MGS Kamal heard the petitions on Thursday and suggested that the authorities and the companies arrive at a compromise and make a common submission.

Following this, the state government agreed to talk to the aggregators.

Though the State government argued that autorickshaws are not covered under its rules, the court said the Motor Vehicles Aggregator Guidelines 2020 (MVAG) issued by the Central government covers autorickshaws, e-rickshaw, motorcycles, and buses too. All these vehicles can be used to offer aggregator service, the court said.

With PTI inputs.

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