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Ex-BJPer files HC plea against Uber & other cab companies that operating illegally

While a case of cheating and violating lawful orders was yesterday lodged against global cab company Uber after one of its drivers was arrested for raping a woman, a plea was filed in the Delhi high court alleging that the company was doing business in the country without accountability to Indian laws.

Former Bharatiya Janata Party ideologue KN Govindacharya filed an application saying the failure to adhere to local laws resulted in “collapse of policing”.

Govindacharya sought legal action against the US-based cab service provider.

Filed through advocate Virag Gupta, the application said the first crucial eight hours, after police were informed about the rape, were spent in locating Uber’s office, as even senior police officers were clueless about how to contact the company since there were no contact or office details on the company website.

“Police had to download the app, book a cab and ask him to take them to their registered office, which was operated from a hotel room in Gurgaon where no one was present,” the application said.

“The only way to access data about the concerned cab was to get it from the New York office,” it said.

The application said more than 20 such taxi companies and thousands of other companies for various services were still operating and doing business in India without complying with various laws and court orders.

The application further alleged that Uber, an intermediary company, does not have a grievance officer, which was a legal mandate as per various direction of the high court.

The application said the high court Aug 23 last year had ordered internet companies to appoint a grievance officer to deal with complaints from any user or victim and display the details on their websites, but the central government failed to implement the same.

“The court passed various orders which have yet not been implemented by the government, thus Uber taxi service was able to perpetuate the illegal operations in India, which resulted in the tragic rape incident of a young MNC executive in Delhi,” it said.

“Uber, being intermediary, has never appointed a grievances officer as per above legal mandate and is doing huge business operations through 3,000 car drivers which reflects failure of collapse of governance in the country,” said Govindacharya, on whose plea the stipulation for the appointment of a grievances officer was passed.

Quoting a statement by Mumbai Service Tax Commissioner SK Solanki that Uber has “not paid a single penny towards service tax”, the application said: “These companies are also liable to pay service tax in India since they are giving the services and receiving the payment through credit cards.”

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