App-based bike taxi service provider Rapido is now facing legal issues from the Karnataka state transport department for operating illegally in the state. After Ola, the transport department has seized around 17 bike taxis and a charge sheet is being filed. The registration certificates of the bikes will also be confiscated. The state transport department officials said that they will be filing a police complaint against the company.
The Karnataka government has fined Ola ₹15 lakhs for running bike taxis illegally in the state just a few weeks back. Ola has stopped its bike taxi services and has filed a petition against state transport department seeking justice from the Karnataka High Court. The petition alleges the state transport department for non-issuance of a licence to operate two-wheeler taxis and aksed banning all other similar bike taxi services.
In February this year, the transport authority seized 250 Ola bike taxis and asked the firm to refrain from operating a bike taxi business without prior approval from the government. The officials said that the seizures will continue and Rapido will be booked to use two-wheelers for commercial purposes which is against the Motor Vehicle Act.
Rapido may also face penalties. The state transport seized 250 vehicles attached to Ola and fined the firm ₹6,000 for each vehicle taking the total amount to ₹15 lakhs. In the case of Rapido 17 bike taxis are seized and the state transport department has the authority to fine between ₹5,000 to ₹10,000 per offence. The calculation shows that the total fine may be in between ₹85,000 to ₹1,70,000.
While Rapido has not officially commented on the matter, the Karnataka government is working on to draft a policy for the operation of bike taxis in the state. Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Telangana and Goa has allowed the operation of bike-taxis in the state. The bike-taxis also faced opposition from cab and auto driver unions.