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After Bombay HC rap, Pune RTO says will consider ‘afresh’ Rapido’s application to operate in city – The Indian Express

The Pune Regional Transport Office (RTO) Thursday said it will reconsider “afresh” the application of Roppen Transportation Services Pvt Ltd (Rapido) for grant of licence for operation as an aggregator. The RTO’s decision follows a Bombay High Court ruling.

“The Bombay High Court has directed us to reconsider afresh the application of Rapido for grant of licence to operate its services in Pune city. Accordingly, we will reconsider their application afresh on its merit and in accordance with the law as directed by the High Court,” Regional Transport Officer Ajit Shinde told The Indian Express.

A copy of the High Court order was submitted by Rapido to the RTO Thursday. Shinde said the RTO had earlier rejected Rapido’s application for grant of licence on April 1, 2022.

At a press conference, advocate Aman Dutta, one of the counsels who represented Rapido in the High Court, said, “Though the RTO claimed in the High Court that it had rejected the application of the Rapido for grant of licence to conducting operations in Pune, Rapido never received the certified copy of the order for months. Neither through email nor through registered (post). Rapido only received the copy from the RTO on October 20, 2022. The RTO could not produce the copy of the email nor any proof of the copy being sent through a registered post.”

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Dutta said though the RTO had claimed that they rejected Rapido’s application for grant of licence on April 1, the Supreme Court had in an order on April 21, 2022, asked the parties to maintain status quo in the matter. “The court had ordered status quo to be maintained till it disposed of the petition filed by an aggregator,” claimed Dutta. “Therefore, as per the Supreme Court order of April 21, Rapido was carrying out its operations in Pune city,” he said.

Dutta said the Bombay High Court in its ruling on March 7 had said “no aggregator shall ply if application has not been made or if application for licence has been rejected”. “This means if I have made an application and it has not been rejected, I can ply. We believe that our application was not rejected as we never received the copy of the so-called rejection till April 21 when the Supreme Court ordered for maintaining status quo in the matter. We received the photo copy of the rejection of application by RTO on October 20,” he said.