The Calcutta HC rejects West Bengal's app-cab regulations.

KOLKATA: According to the Calcutta High Court, "it is general known that unrestricted surge pricing has become widespread in recent years, just as refusals and cancellations by drivers, which primarily affect the On Demand Transportation Technology Aggregator taxis."

The Bengal government issued an order in March aiming to control app cabs, including peak pricing and cancellations. The Bengal High Court acknowledged this on Wednesday while declining to grant any temporary injunction against the decision.

The issue will be heard again by the proper bench, according to the HC.

The state notice made an effort to implement a base pricing idea for app cabs in 2020, replicating the central principles while limiting surge fare rates to not exceeding 50% of this base cost. The state also suggested a penalty of 10% of the cost, but not more than Rs 100, for unauthorised cancellations.

"Procedures like refresher training programmes, remedial training of drivers, surge pricing issues, safety and driver compliances, non-discrimination, etc., are entirely necessary, particularly in the context of recent instances of untoward incidents of harassment of passengers at the behest of drivers affiliated to aggregators," Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya wrote in his order.

The High Court (HC) rejected the claims that the regulations were impractical.

The 22-page notice states that if the driver cancels to avoid the punishment and claims a medical emergency or a car breakdown, he would not be given another transport for the next six hours.

The announcement goes into great detail about the regulation of fares and establishes a number of articles regarding passenger safety.

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