Uber has dragged Ola cabs to court in Delhi claiming that the officers, employees and agents of Ola cabs were indulging in “unlawful” and “unfair” practices to interfere with the work of Uber. Uber, in its plea before the Delhi High Court has sought damages of Rs 49.61 crore from Ola, besides seeking a permanent injunction against the company restraining them from wrongfully interfering with the business operations of Uber.
Meanwhile, the counsel for Ola cabs denied the allegations, and argued that the plaint was “a counter to the contempt proceedings pending before the high court against Uber on the issue of use of diesel-based cabs”. The counsel also made a statement before the court that Ola had never interfered with the business of Uber and also had no intention of interfering in the work.
The court has taken the statement on record, asking Ola to submit its response to the plaint. It will now hear the matter in detail in September. The plea, which was heard before the bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi on Tuesday has alleged that Ola owner ANI technologies and its subsidiary Serendipity infocabs, “through their employees , agents and officers” had “created 93,859 false rider profiles” on the Uber platform, to interfere with the business of Uber in India.
According to Uber, it had identified 4,05,649 false bookings made in 11 different cities in the country, where the “agents” of Ola cabs would book a cab from the Uber platform, and “effectively squatted upon the taxis” so that the driver was unable to take any other passenger and “wasted crucial time” of the cab driver aggregated with Uber. During the brief hearing, senior advocate Rajiv Nayyar appearing for Uber alleged that these unfair practices were being done to “divert passengers” as well as the taxi operators away from the Uber platform. The alleged “false” bookings and cancellations also cost Uber as it has to pay the drivers. The company has also alleged that persons associated with Ola had also sent “false, misleading and malicious text messages” to the drivers, after getting their details by using the fake user profiles, to “prejudice them against” Uber and to “entice” them away.
The plea shows that between August 2015 and March 2016, there were 50,949 cancellations “using the fake rider accounts” in Delhi alone. The highest number of such cancelled bookings is in Mumbai, with over 82,000 cancellations, with Bengaluru showing over 78,000 such incidents. The firm has also alleged that several drivers had left the Uber platform due to these unfair practices by Ola. Meanwhile, in a statement released on Tuesday, Ola has refuted the allegations, and alleged that Uber had filed a “frivolous and false” plea to “divert attention” from the recent seizure of Uber vehicles by government authorities.